Former Auburn University Professor Given Five Years In Prison and Over $1.3 Million in Restitution! Comments by Ethics Speaker Chuck Gallagher

Commit a fraud – make that choice – and a consequence you won’t want – will follow! That’s exactly what happened to a former Auburn University Professor and Army Lt. Col. Loyd Frank Lawing, Jr., age 53, was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison, required to pay nearly $1 million in restitution and over $300,000 to the IRS.

Seems that Lawing embezzled nearly $100,000 from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 9/11 disaster relief funds and over $940,000 from the Auburn University branch of Alpha Tau Omega (“ATO”). Lawings sentence is the longest sentence handed down for a case arising from fraud involving SBA 9/11 disaster relief loans in the nation, according to SBA’s Office of Inspector General.

“Mr. Lawing misused his fiduciary position with ATO and the SBA to embezzle funds,” said U.S. Attorney leura Canary. “His abuse of trust was reprehensible. Mr. Lawing’s sentence should serve as a warning to anyone else who is tempted to use their position to steal.”

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Loyd Frank Lawing used the $940,000 embezzled funds for myriad purposes, such as a luxury SUV and $124,199.63 down payment for his new house. Apparently, Lawing also used the stolen money to help keep Bold Horizon Aerospace, Inc., where he was the president and CEO, afloat. Employees of Bold Horizon had no comment.

As a business ethics speaker, I often get asked the question: Is there a personality flaw that causes someone to engage in white collar crime? My answer: No. There are generally three things needed in order for white collar crime to exist: Need; Opportunity and Rationalization. Apparently, Lawing found one, if not more, of those items in order to pull of a fraud of this magnitude.

Before disbanding, ATO owned property at 730 W. Magnolia Ave. In July 2002, the fraternity sold the property for $1.4 million. ATO retained more than $930,000 from the sale, which was intended to eventually be used to buy or build another house, the warrant stated. That money should have been sitting in the bank, growing,” said Paul Kittle, coordinator of Greek life. “Only one person (Loyd Frank Lawing) was responsible for the account. All this does is sort of reinforces the point that when you have money being controlled, have more than one person in charge of the account.”

Rebecca A. Sparkman, Special Agent in Charge for the IRS, Criminal Investigation Division, stated, “The prosecution of individuals who intentionally conceal their income, even if obtained from an illegal source, is a vital element in maintaining public confidence in our tax system.”

Special Note: The comments by Special Agent Sparkman rings true. Not that I am proud of my past, but having spent time in federal prison for tax fraud – the reality is I embezzled funds and didn’t pay taxes on them. Frankly, it never crossed my mind. Regardless, one is taxed on income from all sources – hence, Lawing, much like I, will spend time thinking about his choices and wondering if was ever worth the price.

It is not worth the price! Every choice has a consequence. Make your choices count!

Business ethics speaker, Chuck Gallagher, signing off…

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7 Responses to Former Auburn University Professor Given Five Years In Prison and Over $1.3 Million in Restitution! Comments by Ethics Speaker Chuck Gallagher

  1. Tamara says:

    I don’t know any more information than this, but this man used to be my friend’s scout leader. Almost a month after his prosecution he is out and about it public?

  2. As a point of clarification. Once a person is convicted, they generally are free on bond until they are told to report to prison. Being out and about is normal.

  3. joan says:

    When does he report to jail? He and his wife are still in the home they purchased with some of the money and she(his wife) is still driving the suv and his business bold horizons is still operating in auburn.

  4. Patrick Baker says:

    I was an ROTC cadet under him and he was horrible. He was always more focused on his dealings with ATO. Even more, he was grossly overweight and out of Army standard. He had an incident where his cadre was spending the cadet fund on personal use. One of his Captains was releaved because of it. This guy had a history prior to this. My buddies and I don’t find this situation as a big surprise. Looks like what goes around finally came around for old Franky boy.

  5. TVS says:

    Frank Made some big mistakes and abused his positions. Yet, I know that Frank is good at heart and has turned to his spirituality to guid him when in prison. He and his family are in terrible pain over this and live in poverty. Frank did not have enough money to call home when his wife was hospitalized numerous times this fall and winter resulting from serious complications from surgery.

  6. CJ says:

    I just found this story. I think John Francisco should have been investigated. I believe he was the actual owner of Bold Horizon Aerospace, and Frank the “fall guy” for him. I operated one of their flight schools and found abnormal business practices which is why I resigned after about a year of putting up with their antics.

  7. An ATO says:

    A point of clarification on a quote in the article. The article states that Frank alone was in charge of the account. This is not totally true. The acccounts were set up as dual signature, Frank fraudulently produced ATO board minutes and forged a letter from the other responsible person to the bank to gain full control of the funds.

    If you ask me, five years is not enough prison time for the damage he has caused.

    Regarding Francisco, he should be in jail. Bold Horizon is not that big of a company. How does $500k flow through your small business and you not know it. You are either a criminal or stupid, maybe both. Also, Francisco, what about the scholarship football seats Frank bought you with this fraudulent money? CJ, would love to hear more about the Bold Horizon company and Francisco.

    To TVS’s comments above, I hope you are right that Frank turned to his spirituality. I was sad to hear recently of Frank’s wife Linda’s death. I feel for the children. The real tragedy here is the Lawing family. Frank has destroyed his family. I really do feel for the kids, they have lost too much in this bad deal.

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