$$$ The Princeton Tory $$$


P.O. Box 1499

Princeton, NJ 08542




When Ira Leeds, Princeton freshman and Financial Manager of the student publication The Princeton Tory, checked his magazine’s bank account, he was surprised to find a ledger balance of $9,900,693.61–or, nearly $10 million more than he expected.

Leeds immediately called PNCBank of Princeton to report the error, only to be told that there was no error – the figure was correct; Princeton University’s balance was quite accurate.

Leeds had recently opened an electronic ‘Account Link’ for The Princeton Tory, Inc. When the access was granted, though, he discovered that he had access not only to the Tory’s funds, which number in the thousands, but over nine million dollars of Princeton University’s money.

Leeds immediately requested that the Tory’s online access be directly terminated, so the student journal would not be liable for future transactions. The bank did not immediately process his request, and he continued to be able to access the account for at least a day.

Leeds then called the Tory’s Publisher, sophomore John Andrews. Agreeing that this error needed immediate rectification, Andrews expressed dismay that Princeton’s administration would be so careless as to allow student groups to access the University’s wealth.

“Their negligence is appalling,” he said. “Nobody’s donation, or tuition, or retirement savings, or research grant is safe. Who wants to have their money where strangers could easily transfer it to an offshore account? Not everybody would do the right thing in our situation,” he said. “But I’m proud of Ira and the way he embodies the Tory’s character and high ethical standards.”

According to Andrews, preliminary findings suggest that a University official inadvertently gave The Princeton Tory incorrect tax information listing Princeton University’s taxpayer identification number rather than the Tory’s.

Andrews explained, “The taxpayer ID number is like a Social Security Number – it gives you control of the account. Princeton ought to have been more careful with this information. We assumed that the University knew what it was doing when it gave us our number.”

This information lay dormant for years, until the Tory staff attempted to use it to access the Tory’s own account, but instead gained access to fifteen University accounts, with a ledger balance of $9,900,693.61. An electronic copy of the Tory’s balance statement, reflecting the acquisition of the University’s ten million dollars, is available from the Tory’s official website: www.princetontory.com.

Leeds and Andrews consulted the Trustees of The Princeton Tory, Inc., four of whom are attorneys. Under their Trustees’advice, the two young men then notified President Tilghman and Provost Gutman of the problem.

“We used email, because it’s prudent to document your intentions,” Leeds said.

University administrators are currently examining the matter.

Published at least six times per academic year, The Princeton Tory is a student-produced magazine of conservative and moderate political thought. A recent survey of students conducted by the administration found that the Tory is the most-read political publication on campus. It currently receives no funding from the University – except by accident.

For further information, contact:

Amy Gutman, Provost, Princeton University

(609) 258-3026

Shirley Tilghman, President, Princeton University

(609) 258-6100

John Andrews, Publisher, The Princeton Tory

(609) 986-8880

Ira Leeds, Financial Manager, The Princeton Tory

(609) 986-9425

Kathleen Deignan, Dean of Undergraduate Students

(609) 258-5431