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Press Release

Former University IT Director Admits $2.1 Million Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – The former IT director of a St. Louis-area university on Tuesday admitted defrauding both his employer and an IT equipment supplier in a $2.1 million fraud scheme.

Ronald Simpson, 54, of St. Peters, Missouri, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to one felony count of wire fraud. 

As director of information technology for the university, Simpson was responsible for repairing and replacing defective IT equipment used at his employer’s multiple locations. Beginning about Nov. 29, 2018, Simpson devised a scheme to enrich himself at the expense of the University and their equipment supplier. After receiving approval to purchase hundreds of items of IT equipment by falsely claiming the equipment would be used or installed at university locations, Simpson sold that equipment to a third-party. Simpson misappropriated at least a million dollars from the university with this part of the scheme.

He also fraudulently obtained 56 items from the university’s IT supplier by falsely claiming that the equipment they originally had supplied was defective. Simpson then sold both the original equipment and the replacement gear. The supplier sent a total of $780,233 worth of replacement IT equipment to the university based on Simpson’s misrepresentations.

Simpson was paid a total of $2,188,704 for IT equipment belonging to the university and its supplier.

Simpson is scheduled to be sentenced September 17. The wire fraud charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both prison and a fine.

The FBI investigated the case. Both Simpson’s former employer and the IT supplier worked extensively with law enforcement during this investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Wiseman is prosecuting the case.

Contact

Robert Patrick, Public Affairs Officer, robert.patrick@usdoj.gov.

Updated June 18, 2024

Topic
Financial Fraud