UPDATE: February 12, 2013
A University of Virginia spokesperson confirmed Tuesday Dr. Paul Allaire is currently a professor at the university. In an email response sent to CBS19, UVa spokesperson McGregor McCance wrote, "Mr. Allaire is a current professor at the University. That is his employment status."
February 11, 2013
Police with the University of Virginia are sifting through ten years of banking transactions of a UVa professor. It's important to note, no charges have been filed, but search warrants show Paul Allaire, a long-time professor in the engineering school, may have used a personal consulting company to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the program he presided over at UVa.
Dr. Allaire has been a professor in the School of Engineering for more than three decades, and has served as the director of The Rotating Machinery and Controls (ROMAC) Industrial Program at UVa for the past ten years. The purpose of ROMAC is to generate money for research projects at the school. Members can join ROMAC for an annual fee of $27,000 with an additional initiation fee of $27,000. In return, members receive services like access to university research, software updates, and courses on various topics. According to ROMAC's website, current members include companies like Boeing Commercial Airplane and Exxon-Mobil.
Search warrants filed in Albemarle County court show Allaire used ROMAC's name and equipment for his own consulting business, Allaire Development Company Those search warrants detail emails sent to potential clients. In them, Allaire reportedly calls ADC a "one man consulting company", but police say ADC is nothing more than a shell company run out of Allaire's Charlottesville home.
Email exchanges included in the search warrants illustrate how Allaire may have been undercutting the university, by taking business away from ROMAC and UVa and steering those clients to his own company, ADC. In one email, Allaire tries to convince a client to do business with his company, writing "A deal for you, as I do not charge overhead. UVa wants 54% of direct cost for research projects."
In the court documents, police accuse Allaire of accepting between $700,000-$1,000,000 worth of business, using UVa equipment.
An acting director has replaced Allaire at ROMAC and UVa course listings show Allaire isn't teaching this semester. A UVa spokesperson tells CBS19 that Allaire is still employed as a professor at the university.
CBS19 has tried several times to contact Dr. Allaire, so far he has not returned any messages. No charges have been filed, but UVa police say the investigation is ongoing.