Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GU Fraternity Brother Accused of Misusing Nonprofit Money

GU Fraternity Brother Accused of Misusing Nonprofit Money

A Georgetown University graduate and officer of the Delta Phi Epsilon (DPE) fraternity is expected to go to trial in 2023 for misusing public benefit funds intended for School of Foreign Service (SFS) student scholarships.

Washington, D.C. Superior Court Judge Shana Frost Matini ruled that Terrence Boyle (SFS ’63, LAW ’72) violated his fiduciary duties to the fraternity by illegally purchasing a personal house in 1990 using money donated by Georgetown graduates since August 1978. Matini also found that Boyle breached his responsibilities to DPE by donating its chapter house against the fraternity’s wishes.  

Following Matini’s ruling, The Hoya conducted an independent, month-long investigation into the fraternity’s expenditures and its controversial history with the use of private deposition documents, exclusive comments from the defendant, meeting minutes from the fraternity’s archives and private DPE tax filings obtained by The Hoya.

Until August 2021, Boyle served as the officer of both DPE — a fraternity established to connect Georgetown men interested in international diplomacy — and the DPE Foundation for Foreign Service Education, a separate nonprofit charity created to financially support students. 

James Abely (SFS ’88), a DPE brother, said Boyle’s use of the foundation’s money to buy the property was an act of theft from Georgetown students. 

“I think the truth has to come out,” Abely told The Hoya. “I think it has to come out at Georgetown, because I think the Georgetown community was robbed. These are funds that really should have gone to a scholarship at the School of Foreign Service.”

Abely is one of over 450 donors who have financially contributed to the foundation and said he was under the impression that his $500 donation would go toward supporting the education of SFS students. 

To qualify as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the foundation needed to fulfill the objectives it committed to when applying for tax-exempt status, according to IRS documents obtained by The Hoya.

Delta Phi Epsilon | Georgetown alum Terrence Boyle (SFS ’63, LAW ’72) allegedly mishandled over $2 million of the Delta Phi Epsilon (DPE) fraternity’s nonprofit funds and assets, intended to sponsor student scholarships, for personal benefit.

“The DPE’s Foundation’s IRS assigned (c)(3) tax-exempt purpose has been ‘when fully operational, to maintain a library regarding the diplomatic service and careers in such service, to sponsor lectures, debates and other educational activities related to international affairs [and that] ultimately, the organization hopes to be able to offer scholarships to students,’” the document reads.

Instead, Boyle spent $150,000 of the foundation’s funds as its treasurer to purchase his Georgetown residence at 1245 34th St. NW, which is now valued at more than $1.1 million, according to D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine’s civil complaint

Reporters from The Hoya were able to solicit a comment from Boyle after visiting him in the very Georgetown residence he allegedly purchased with the fraternity’s funds. Standing in a bathrobe on his front porch with the door cracked open on a cold fall morning, Boyle engaged the reporters in a lengthy conversation but ultimately refused to go on the record.

The following day, The Hoya gained access to transcripts of Boyle’s Jan. 13 deposition, which are not available to the public, that directly contradicted the comments Boyle had provided to The Hoya reporters regarding the use of fraternity funds.

In these documents from the Jan. 13 deposition, Boyle admitted that the foundation paid $150,000 toward the down payment of his home.

“The foundation put up $150,000,” Boyle said in the deposition. “I put up $50,000 in cash and $210,000 from the bank loan.”

Boyle’s defense team claimed that the foundation and Boyle jointly purchased 1245 34th St. NW with the intention that the property would serve as a real estate investment and storage facility for DPE, according to the Jan. 13 deposition obtained by The Hoya.

After The Hoya offered Boyle a chance to respond to discrepancies between the deposition and his prior statements to reporters, Boyle agreed to go on the record in a phone call that lasted over an hour.

In this phone interview, Boyle said the foundation benefited from using funds to pay for his personal residence because he maintained the property as it appreciated in value.

“The exchange for my living there for free, I will pay all the utility bills, all the repair costs, all of the insurance premiums and stuff like that, and I will manage the property and make sure there’s no parties terrorizing this house,” Boyle told The Hoya. “I will do this in exchange for being allowed there.”

However, Matini found that Boyle failed to fulfill his obligation to use the property for the foundation’s nonprofit, public purpose, instead providing him personal benefit as his primary residence for over 30 years.

Boyle said Matini ruled improperly, as 41 defense exhibits were excluded from consideration in her judgment. The defense was unable to submit these documents on time because of his attorney’s health complications, Boyle said. 

Matini has since denied his applications for reconsideration twice. 

Matini also found Boyle responsible for mishandling DPE’s finances by selling the chapter house in the Georgetown neighborhood under market value, against fraternity protocol and in violation of the District’s Nonprofit Corporation Act.

On Feb. 29, 2020, 45 DPE members and 303 initiates met to vote on the future of their chapter house, known as the Alpha House. The majority of the fraternity had agreed to sell the house for as much as possible to generate funds for the organization, according to the fraternity’s meeting minutes obtained by The Hoya. 

After the vote, Boyle donated Alpha House to the foundation without fraternity members’ authorization and then sold the house for $2.65 million, even though the property was appraised at $4.25 million. The fraternity did not receive the proceeds of this sale, despite the fact that Alpha House was the organization’s primary asset. 

Chris Christon (SFS ’67), a DPE brother, said Boyle’s alleged overhaul of the fraternity’s consensus does not reflect the values of DPE.

“Alpha Chapter’s 40 year transition from a student governed and managed fraternity to an authoritarian club directed and managed by a single alumnus bred the chaos uncovered by this court case and other events over the past 4-5 years,” Christon wrote to The Hoya. 

Tom McCarthy | Boyle donated the fraternity’s primary asset, the Alpha House, against the vote of the majority of DPE brothers, violating his fiduciary duty as treasurer.

DPE is not officially affiliated with Georgetown University, according to a university spokesperson.

“Georgetown University does not recognize or formally support any Greek organizations, including Delta Phi Epsilon,” a spokesperson wrote to The Hoya.

Matini’s ruling did not specify any restitution for Boyle, but DPE brother Mark Zunic (MSB ’87) said he would like to see the court order Boyle to repay the foundation for the amount of funds used to buy his home, pending trial.

“I think the only thing that can come out of it might be some sort of monetary fine against him, and I hope it’s enough so that it really hurts,” Zunic told The Hoya. “As much as he stole, he should be forced to give back.” 

DPE brother Nicholas Lamberti (SFS ’74) said he hopes the Georgetown community can learn from the wrongdoings of the case to ensure such corruption does not occur again. 

“This DPE litigation should serve as a precautionary tale to GU undergraduates as how a so-called non profit organization can be manipulated into serving no one but the organization’s officers,” Lamberti wrote to The Hoya. 

Zunic said the lawsuit has tainted his memories of DPE, a highlight of his time at Georgetown. 

“A big part of my experience was at the Alpha house,” Zunic said. “For me, that was Georgetown. Sitting on a 20-year-old velvet couch that stunk of beer was what made me smile when I think about Georgetown. And all of that is just a little dirtier now.”

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About the Contributor
Michelle Vassilev
Michelle Vassilev is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences from Princeton, N.J., studying English with minors in public health and journalism. She is training for a marathon in the French countryside, and she loves Argentine tango.

Comments (9)

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  • R

    Richard McMahonJan 1, 2023 at 10:39 am

    It is very interesting that Mr. Miranda would make such comments about those who oppose Mr. Boyle, especially given Mr. Miranda’s involvement in the scandal known as “Mirandagate” which led to him resigning his position in Congress.

    Mr. Miranda claims to be fully up to date on Mr. Boyle’s activities at the fraternity. Perhaps he could enlighten the audience about the naked pledging process that took place under the direction of Mr. Boyle and the wild bachelor’s party that Mr. Boyle hosted at the fraternity house.

    Let’s also not forget the parties that Mr. Boyle hosted that involved underage drinking and the annual trips Mr. Boyle took with barely legal fraternity brothers to Hedonism II in Jamaica, a nudist resort.

    Mr. Miranda, tell us more…

    Reply
  • G

    Georgetown Alum Who Will NEVER donate a pennyDec 20, 2022 at 12:31 am

    Maybe now they’ll look at DiGioia flying to Davos and Yossi Shain using university money to fly 1st class on El-Al…

    Reply
  • J

    Jack Brown ‘24Dec 16, 2022 at 8:10 am

    love seeing older hoyas reading this garbage heap of a publication! <3

    Reply
  • M

    Mike BakerDec 8, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    Manuel says that there was no trial.

    Manuel, you should be careful about casting the word moronic around.

    There was a summary judgment. A summary judgment has the same judicial force as trial verdict. A summary judgment is not an allegation. It’s a ruling by a judge.

    There are a few good websites out there, Manuel, where you can get simple, easy-to-understand information about the law.

    Reply
  • A

    Alph A. RomeraDec 7, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    The above comment is interesting as it comes from a Steward and the fraternity brother that almost ruined Alpha Phi Omega.

    Reply
  • T

    Timothy Jekins '95Dec 7, 2022 at 12:44 am

    Heed not the words of others tainting this comments section. Thank you for reporting on this important matter. It is moronic to complain about a reporting of allegations when the existence of such is certainly news enough and something the people deserve to hear more about. It makes me wonder how individuals have managed to stick around this long if they consider this “abusive”.

    Reply
  • M

    Manuel A. Miranda, F'82Dec 6, 2022 at 11:25 am

    This piece is moronic and based on a concerted effort to seize control of GU’s oldest Greek fraternity and its assets by malefactor members who can’t do it democratically because Mr. Boyle has super majority support of his brothers despite their YEARS of harassment. Some of these men have broken laws themselves or were disciplined as undergraduates for destructive behavior. I hope you are ready to publish the outcome of this ridiculous prosecutorial abuse with equal vigor. You might have waited for a trial rather than publishing the allegations. Just abusive. I am aware of all the facts and the application of law and vouch for Mr. Boyle and commend his years of thankless service.

    Reply
    • R

      Richard McMahonJan 1, 2023 at 10:14 am

      It is very interesting that Mr. Miranda would make such comments about those who oppose Mr. Boyle, especially given Mr. Miranda’s involvement in the scandal known as “Mirandagate” which led to him resigning his position in Congress.

      Mr. Miranda claims to be fully up to date on Mr. Boyle’s activities at the fraternity. Perhaps he could enlighten the audience about the naked pledging process that took place under the direction of Mr. Boyle and the bachelor’s party that Mr. Boyle hosted at the fraternity house.

      Let’s also not forget the parties that Mr. Boyle hosted that involved underage drinking and the annual trips Mr. Boyle took with barely legal fraternity brothers to Hedonism II in Jamaica, a nudist resort.

      Mr. Miranda, tell us more…

      Reply
  • C

    Chris Christon (SFS '67)Dec 5, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    A few facts to file away concerning Boyle’s purchase of his private residence with a $150K down payment paid by the DPE Education Foundation
    1. At the time of the 1990 purchase, the Foundation was recorded as co-owner of the property with Boyle on the title.
    2. The $200K mortgage Boyle mentioned in his deposition was co-signed by him and the Foundation, not by him alone.
    3. In 1998, the Education relinquished its 50% ownership of the property, which was retitled with Boyle as the sole owner. Boyle stated he paid the Foundation $150K “in cash”, with no compensation for appreciation or interest for the Foundation’s 8 year “investment.”

    Reply