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News2 » Financial aid director exchanged sex for scholarships on Craigslist

Financial aid director exchanged sex for scholarships on Craigslist

Joseph Bekken

Apparently for students at North Idaho College, there was an alternative program for much-needed financial aid for school. Instead of going through the normal channels of filling out forms and standing in line, you just had to go to Craigslist. It was there that former financial aid director Joseph Bekken offered students financial aid in exchange for sex.

Bekken placed his ad under the casual encounters section of Craigslist soliciting sex from men, women and couples. The ad read “Hello, I have a proposition for NIC students. E-mail me and we can discuss. M4W, M4M, M4MW.” The shorthand stands for man seeking a woman, a man or a male-female couple. Bekken also stated that “I’m completely open. Sex, oral, etc. … watching,” when he replied back to the fake student.

The post caught the attention of Spokane, Idaho, police in the Internet crime unit and they notified the FBI. Police then initiated an undercover sting operation in which they created a fake profile for a student named Sheryl Roberts. Bekken eventually transferred aid in the amount of $587 to the fake student’s account and set up a meeting for sex. However, when he knocked on the door, he was greeted by an FBI agent who took him into custody. Bekken confessed to the crime and stated that no federal student aid money was involved, only money from a private foundation that provides aid to NIC to allocate to students as deemed appropriate.

The college immediately fired Bekken who was earning over $73,000 a year. Bekken now faces felony charges of solicitation of prostitution, burglary and using a computer in a scheme to defraud, and bribery.