Sentencing Day for Former UB VP Dennis Black

Pleaded guilty to stealing $320,000 from University

Tom Puckett
January 26, 2018 - 4:00 am

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Former UB Vice President Dennis Black faces up to 5 to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Friday.

Last year, he admitted to stealing more than $300,000 from UB. At the time, Erie County DA John Flynn said it was embarrassing to the community and the school this happened. "Mr. Black was one of the highest paid employees in Western New York, making almost $300,000 and yet on top of that, took more than $300,000 from the university," said Flynn.

Flynn outlined various money transfers that Black used for personal gain over a 9 year period, including:

Using University funds to pay for his son's wedding and various trips

Using $11,500 for University Life staff parties at the Buffalo Bisons

Using $34,00 in state funds for dues and fees at Buffalo's Saturn Club

Using  University funds to pay for a James Taylor Concert, a Liza Minnelli concert and various Broadway shows.

Making charitable contributions with UB funds, and claiming them on his NYS tax return.

Attorney Paul Cambria says the judge will have some leeway during the sentencing. "Usually judges want to send the message to the community this wouldn't be tolerated, but he can do anything from sentence him to probation for five years, a split sentence where (Black) would serve six month in jail or the rest on probation. The judge could also make this a local sentence, where he would serve it in a county jail, or he could sentence Black to the maximum of five to 15 years," explains Cambria.

Cambria says it's clear Flynn will ask for jail time, and wouldn't be surprised if there's a split sentence or a one year sentence in county jail.

If he were representing Black, "I would be urging the court to let him out so he could continue to make restitution," noting Black has no prior criminal record and is making restitution. 

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