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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 15, 2019

Former Pfeiffer University CFO Pleads Guilty To Fraud

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Matthew G.T. Martin, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, announced today that JEFFREY BYRON PLYLER, of Albemarle, North Carolina, pleaded guilty in federal court in Greensboro to a felony charge of making a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement.

PLYLER, age 57, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge William L. Osteen, Jr. in connection with a forged signature on an Internal Revenue Service Form W-9. PLYLER forged the signature in order to receive payment from Pfeiffer University on a fraudulent invoice.

“Mr. Plyler held a position of trust as CFO of Pfeiffer University. Instead of fulfilling that trust, he exploited it for his own gain. Let this be a lesson that federal authorities will address fraud in this district,” said U.S. Attorney Martin. “I commend the FBI, U.S. Postal Investigation Service, and AUSA McFadden for their excellent work.”

PLYLER served as Pfeiffer University’s Vice-President for Financial Services and Chief Financial Officer. During a review of insurance invoices, Pfeiffer’s Controller of Financial Operations noted that the university was paying a significant amount of money for insurance commission/agent fees and an audit ensued. The audit uncovered several irregular invoices allegedly related to insurance commission/agent fees and consulting work completed by Circle One, Senn Dunn, and Leggett. Investigation revealed that PLYLER was listed as the registered agent for Circle One and Leggett in documents filed with the North Carolina Secretary of State, and engaged in business under the assumed business name of Senn Dunn according to an Assumed Business Name Certificate filed in Stanly County. Senn Dunn did not authorize Plyler to do so. Pfeiffer University paid a total of $527,350.00 on these invoices to accounts that PLYLER controlled.

The defendant faces a maximum penalty of sixty months confinement. The plea agreement requires PLYLER to make restitution in the amount of $527,350.00. Sentencing will occur in Greensboro on August 19, 2019 at 2 p.m.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney JoAnna G. McFadden.

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Updated April 15, 2019