MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The head of sports ticket sales at the University of Minnesota has been fired, accused of stealing from the school.
WCCO has learned the FBI is now involved in the alleged fraud case believed to have been going on for years.
Brent Holck worked as assistant athletic director of sales and services until an audit this winter found some possible criminal activity.
WCCO sat down with University of Minnesota Athletic Director Mark Coyle to talk about the ticket plot.
Coyle expressed his disappointment over one of the latest scandals involving his department.
“It was a very sophisticated and complex scheme and it was deliberately done,” Coyle said.
He says an internal audit of Gopher sports tickets this past February picked up some discrepancies.
“In essence, we had tickets that were distributed for Gopher events. We had tickets that were used but the revenue was not tying back to those tickets,” Coyle said.
The U says Holck was behind it. He supervised a team of eight people inside Mariucci Arena, and was being paid a salary of $94,000 a year.
The school believes the fraud went on for at least six years, but officials could not provide the number of tickets in question or how much money is missing.
WCCO has confirmed Holck was fired within 24 hours of the discrepancy discovery, and the U quickly turned the investigation over to the FBI to find the full scope.
Holck did not answer the door at his Maple Grove home or return our repeated calls for comment.
“In an organization of this size, issues are going to arise and it’s on us to make sure the school deals with them effectively and efficiently,” Coyle said.
The athletics department has 275 full-time employees, and manages 25 university sports and 700 student athletes. It is no secret how that department has made headlines in the recent past.
“Our goal is to hold people accountable,” Coyle said.
It is now the athletics auditing system that Coyle says is being questioned in order to figure out why this wasn’t caught sooner.
U officials say Holck is believed to be the only employee involved. An FBI spokesperson did confirm they are investigating, but they would not comment further.