Former Northern Kentucky University Athletic Director Scott Eaton pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon in Campbell County Circuit Court to stealing more than $311,000 from the school. He's been ordered to repay the university and has agreed to serve the maximum sentence of ten years in prison.
Eaton was charged with theft by unlawful taking for diverting university funds for his own use. He was fired in March 2013 for having inappropriate relations with four university employees and a student.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said Eaton used several different schemes to defraud NKU:
- He used his NKU-issued credit card to purchase Kroger gift cards. He then used the cards to purchase $262, 106 worth of items for himself.
- He used his university credit card to make another $32,919 in personal purchases.
- He used NKU resources to print and charge postage for items for a coaches association of which he was a member. When the association reimbursed him, a total of $16,190, Eaton kept the money.
After he was fired an external audit confirmed the suspected thefts.
"At a time when higher education institutions are being asked to accomplish more with smaller tuition increases and declining state funding, the reckless behavior exhibited by Scott Eaton is unconscionable," said Attorney General Conway.
Conway credits NKU's cooperation and assistance for helping lead to the successful prosecution of the case.
Campbell County Circuit Court Judge Julie Reinhardt Ward will sentence Eaton May 20 at noon. Meantime, Eaton is released on his own recognizance.