News and Press Releases

Former Accountant for University of Northern Virginia Pleads Guilty to Stealing $225,000

May 26, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – John F. Rickard Jr., 50, of Manassas, Va., pleaded guilty today to stealing more than $225,000 from the University of Northern Virginia (UNVA). 

        Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. Rickard pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 11, 2010.

        In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Rickard worked as the business manager and accountant for UNVA from October 2008 to December 2009. In that position, he was responsible for bookkeeping and payroll deposits for UNVA employees, and he would send email requests to the payroll processing company for payroll checks to be processed for specific individuals. For more than a year, Rickard requested more than 50 checks in his name that exceeded his salary by more than $225,000.

        According to court records, Rickard used one accounting code for payroll deductions in UNVA’s accounting books and falsified an audit report during his tenure with UNVA to hide his payroll diversions. They came to light after he left the University and his replacement reviewed the University’s books.

        This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Jack Hanly is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

        A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on


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