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Press Release

Former University Administrator Sentenced For Role In Wire Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Charlene E. Honeywell has sentenced Brian Carroll (47, New Market, Tennessee) to 15 months in federal prison for wire fraud. The court also entered an order of forfeiture in the amount of $42,000, representing the proceeds of the wire fraud scheme. Carroll had pleaded guilty on January 5, 2023.

According to court documents, at the time of the commission of the offense, Carroll was serving as the Executive Vice President of Southeastern University, a private university in Lakeland, Florida. Carroll became involved in a project to redesign the website and digital brand of the university’s President. Carroll conducted a self-dealing scheme to enrich himself by setting up an “anonymous” LLC based in New Mexico and setting up a bank account in the name of that LLC, both of which he controlled. The Board of Directors and President of Southeastern University were unaware of Carroll’s involvement in this LLC.

The LLC that Carroll controlled then submitted a bid to the university to perform the web rebranding project for a total price of $185,000. Carroll recommended and promoted the acceptance of this contract, thereby causing the university to make a number of wire payments to that LLC for work done on the project. Unbeknownst to the university, Carroll’s LLC contracted with an unrelated company based in New York to do the actual work on the project and create the new website. This New York company charged Carroll’s LLC $30,000 for the project. Carroll thus engineered a scheme to pay his LLC $185,000 for a project that, in reality, cost only $30,000 to perform. He thereby defrauded Southeastern University out of approximately $155,000.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Lakeland Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer.

Updated April 27, 2023

Financial Fraud