Ex-Montgomery assistant principal sentenced for $314K fraud scheme
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A former Montgomery Public Schools employee has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud, according to acting U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Stewart, FBI Special Agent in Charge James Jewell, and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.
Walter James III, 50, of Montgomery, was sentenced to five years in prison, after which he’ll serve three years of supervised release.
According to court documents, James held himself out to be the owner of a consulting company, “ED-ONE Professional Development Services,” while he was employed by MPS. He then worked in partnership with others at his high school and the MPS central office to submit fraudulent invoices for consulting or professional development services. James was the assistant principal of Jeff Davis High School at the time the crimes occurred.
Authorities said the invoices that were submitted listed vague descriptions of the types of services that were supposedly provided. The invoices would include descriptions such as “books & materials,” “consulting,” or “three-day workshop.”
According to officials, James did not provide any professional development services of products to MPS, nor did any of the consulting companies on the corresponding invoices that James submitted for payment. During the sentence hearing, the court determined that the scheme happened from August 2016 to April 2019 and created a loss of over $314,000 to the school system.
In addition to his prison sentence, James has also been ordered to repay MPS the $314,000 as restitution.
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