Former AOL HR Exec Accused of Fraud Sentenced to Four Years

April 20, 2005 ( - A former America Online (AOL) human resources executive has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for fraud.

US District Judge James Cacheris sentenced Gregory Horton Tuesday to 46 months in prison for a plot in which he profited from a sham consulting contract, according to the Associated Press. According to court records, the fraud against AOL amounted to $100,000. At the time, Horton was an executive vice-president with the company’s human resources department.

As part of a plea bargain, Horton had earlier admitted to defrauding two previous employers – Florida-based AutoNation and Denver-based Qwest Communications – of more than $2 million in similar schemes (See Former AOL HR Chief Admits to Defrauding Company ).

In the scheme undertaken while at all three companies, Horton, who had the ability to hire contractors or influence who was hired, would create deals so that contractors had to pay money to companies in which he had a controlling interest.

As part of his sentence, Horton has also been forced to pay full restitution to the companies he defrauded. He now owes $1.8 million to Auto Nation and $333,000 to Qwest. AOL has already been given $100,000.