Finance law prof who lied to IRS gets an earful from judge

A University of Minnesota financial law professor was sentenced to two years probation, 200 community service hours, and fined $5,000 for lying to the IRS. He is also accused of having stolen more than $4 million from investors.

Professor Ed Adams was indicted in 2017 on several charges of fraud and embezzlement, involving his father-in-law’s company, Apollo Diamond. Adams allegedly siphoned at least $4.38 million from investors in the company and transferred the funds to his own law firm. 

Adams allegedly embezzled approximately $4.38 million from investors in the company, according to The Star Tribune.  At least $2.54 million of that money went directly to the funds at Adam’s law firm. His involvement in Apollo’s sister company SCIO Diamonds was also under scrutiny. 

[RELATED: Prof admits to defrauding taxpayers out of $1.3 million]

Adams was originally charged on at least 17 counts of theft and fraud, but prosecutors dropped those charges in exchange for a guilty plea on the count of lying to the IRS. The claim was that he lied about his income, underreporting it so he could skip out on a high federal income tax. Back in 2015, he had to pay $118,000 back to the IRS in back taxes after trying to stiff them. 

Unfortunately for the victims of Adams’ alleged theft, the alleged missing $4.38 million will not be paid back in any form of restitution, as the charges were dropped. Judge Donovan Frank implied that he was unhappy with this, as he said in court “you clearly knew more than most that what you were doing was illegal and unethical,” in reference to Adams’ expertise in financial law. 

Adam's university profile boasts that he "specializes in commercial bankruptcy, and corporate law."

The judge also read 27 victim statement letters from the wronged Apollo and SCIO investors before the sentencing, but they were prohibited from being taken into account because they were unrelated to the misdemeanor charge. Frank sentenced Adams to a greater punishment than what his defense and the prosecution had agreed upon. Instead of just one year of probation, he got 2 years, the $5,000 fine, and 200 hours of legal aide community service. 

[RELATED: Prof SENTENCED for defrauding taxpayers]

Adams has been earning $170,820 on paid leave from the University of Minnesota, according to the law school spokesman Jake Ricker.

 He is unsure if Adams will return to the university.

“I have always maintained my innocence as to the original charges that were brought against me, and I am grateful that all of them have been dismissed. I look forward to putting this whole episode behind me and moving on with my life. I have been very fortunate to have the support of my wife and son, friends, and colleagues throughout this process, and I cannot thank them enough,” Adams told Campus Reform

The University of Minnesota told Campus Reform that as of now, they are currently “reviewing the relevant University policies and procedures in light of these facts and circumstances.” Today, Adams remains on leave as he has since the original indictment in 2017.

Follow Olivia Rondeau on Twitter: @rondeaulivia