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Former UF Foundation officer gets eight years for thefts

The former chief financial officer of the University of Florida Foundation received an eight-year prison sentence Wednesday for writing himself five checks worth $850,000 from foundation accounts.

Kenneth Hillier, 57, pleaded no contest in June to five counts of grand theft. He had faced up to 135 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. The foundation has recovered all but $66,493 of the $850,000.

The 16-year foundation employee, who earned $113,212 a year, was fired last fall when a co-worker found one of the checks. An investigation that started last September uncovered other potential thefts.

Hillier was ordered to also serve 10 years of probation. The certified public accountant was banned from handling money in future jobs, and barred from attending any events at the university without an invitation.

Robert Griscti, a foundation lawyer, said the foundation is considering filing a law suit against Hillier. Foundation officials said he may have taken an additional $362,000 that was not accounted for in the grand theft charges.