Man who promised Virginia Tech donation sentenced to prison

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A man who promised Virginia Tech a $30 million donation has been sentenced to prison for wire fraud and money laundering.

The Washington Post reports that Phillip Barnard was sentenced to five years and three months in prison Tuesday in federal court. Barnard pleaded guilty earlier this year.

Prosecutors say Barnard never had any legitimate business success, and instead paid for his luxury lifestyle with funds he had stolen. Victims testified that Barnard would approach them about investment opportunities with quick payoffs, and then prod them to invest more cash.

Barnard had promised $30 million to Virginia Tech for a new geosciences building. He never made the donation, even though the university hired architects and successfully sought state matching funds.

Barnard told the court that he had good intentions.

Information from: The Washington Post,

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