Former QU engineering and business professor charged with more than $1 million in wire fraud

Melina Khan, News Editor

Former Quinnipiac University professor and Carlton Highsmith Chair of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Norman Gray is accused of defrauding an investor of more than $1 million, according to federal prosecutors.

Gray, who worked at Quinnipiac until 2018, was arrested Nov. 30 by officers from the Department of Homeland Security and charged with wire fraud, according to an indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. If convicted, Gray could face up to 20 years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said beginning in August 2020, Gray, the CEO of a Hamden-based global biomedical company, convinced an investor into wiring him more than $1.2 million for 2% stake in his company as well as the distribution of personal protective equipment to local universities. He promised the investor a salaried position as the company’s “chief investment officer.”

Gray allegedly spent the money on the company’s operating expenses and products and services unrelated to the company, such as the cash purchase of a $50,000 luxury SUV. Additionally, Gray supposedly created a fake mortgage company and posed as a fake mortgage broker to offer the investor a mortgage as an additional return on their investment.

“(Gray) allegedly induced his victim investor to entrust Gray with over $1.2 million by claiming the risk involved in their (personal protective equipment) investment deals was ‘virtually zero,’” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. “But in reality, the deals are alleged to be fictitious, and any chance of actually earning a profit with Gray’s investments was virtually zero.”

Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan confirmed Gray was employed at Quinnipiac until 2018, but declined to further comment, saying the university does not discuss former employees.

Based on a 2015 post on the School of Business website, Gray is a “biomedical scientist with 30 years of executive management experience across a wide range of health care disciplines.” He taught undergraduate engineering and entrepreneurship students during his time at Quinnipiac. 

Gray was also the Carlton Highsmith chair of innovation and entrepreneurship, which was established in 2012 by Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees Carlton Highsmith. In this role, Gray was responsible for overseeing the university’s Innovation Center and partnership with the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology.