The amount of money a former University of Minnesota ticketing director skimmed from his employer during his long-running scheme topped $360,000 and fed his gambling addiction, according to court documents filed shortly before a federal judge sentenced him to prison.
Brent A. Holck, 37, of Maple Grove, reported Monday for prison, where he’ll remain for 21 months after pleading guilty to siphoning money from April 2012 to January 2017.
Along with his prison time, two years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service, Holck must repay $361,336.15 to the U, according to sentencing documents filed in federal court in Minneapolis.
Public records show Holck was earning more than $90,000 in annual base salary as of 2015, overseeing sales to games, concerts and other campus events.
The U employee of more than eight years was fired in February 2017 after the school’s Office of Internal Audit discovered discrepancies in ticket transaction records. Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle said at the time that the FBI’s investigation focused on an alleged “sophisticated scheme” dating to 2011.
The criminal complaint said Holck would locate completed sales in the ticketing system — often after an event had occurred — delete orders and have refunds issued to accounts he controlled.
He also issued tickets and parking passes to personal or business acquaintances, including alumni and corporate sponsors, who then sold those tickets and gave the majority of the proceeds to Holck.
Federal sentencing guidelines called for Holck to receive 2¾ to nearly 3½ years in prison. Both defense and prosecuting attorneys in presentencing court filings praised Holck’s cooperation with investigators and noted the apology he issued to the U and the therapy he’s been receiving for gambling addiction.
In a statement issued when the scheme was first publicly disclosed by the U in June 2017, school officials said, “No fan lost a single dollar as a result of this activity.”
Holck’s wife, Jessica Holck, was director of events for the Golden Gopher Fund during the time of her husband’s crimes and was not under investigation in connection with her husband’s case. She is no longer working for the university, a school spokeswoman said Monday.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482