Former UD finance professor and Hanley Center director arrested in Ohio human trafficking crackdown

Lucy Waskiewicz | News Editor

This is a developing story. Updates will be made as we learn new information.

Former UD lecturer and Hanley Center director Michael Masterson has been arrested in a statewide human trafficking crackdown.

Masterson, 55, was one of 160 arrested in “Operation Buyer’s Remorse,” a weeklong effort to apprehend Ohioans attempting to buy sex and identify survivors of human trafficking, according to a statement from the Ohio Attorney General’s office. 

Between Sept. 25 and Sept. 30, the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission conducted coordinated “stings” that led to the arrests of 149 “johns,” or persons seeking to buy sex from human traffickers.

Masterson was arrested by the Montgomery County Human Trafficking Task Force in a john sting operation. He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on soliciting charges and could face additional charges after a review with the prosecutor’s office.

Mugshot of Michael Masterson. Photo Credit Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department

Prior to this week, Masterson was a full-time faculty member at UD. He taught the finance capstone course FIN 460: Portfolio Management and Security Analysis. He was also appointed director of the Hanley Center for ESG Investing in fall 2022.

Students in Masterson’s classes received an email the morning of Oct. 2 from UD Department of Economics and Finance chair Jon Fulkerson. 

“I am contacting you because Prof. Masterson will not be continuing as the instructor for your FIN 460 course,” the email said. “I am very sorry for the disruption to the semester.”

The email made no mention of Masterson’s arrest.

UD declined to comment on Masterson specifically but stated that the School of Business Administration is adjusting to his absence.

“The University does not comment on individual personnel matters or ongoing investigations,” University officials said. “The University considers this a law enforcement issue and defers to their handling of it. The School of Business Administration is making adjustments so students’ instructional needs are not interrupted and continue to be met.”

Masterson’s faculty profile page is no longer accessible on UD’s online directory. A story in the School of Business Administration’s online blog about his appointment as Director of the Hanley Center for ESG Investing has also been taken down.

School of Business Administration students received an email from Dean Trevor Collier on Oct. 3 regarding Masterson’s departure.

“He [Masterson] is no longer a member of our campus community,” the email said. “We also wanted to let you know that the University has no indication the allegations against Masterson are connected to his prior employment here or that unlawful behavior occurred on campus or with students.”

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