USASC: Former Orangeburg School employee pleads guilty to defrauding school district
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– The Department of Justice says 30-year-old David Cortez Marshall Jr., a former employee of the Orangeburg County School District, plead guilty to defrauding the district of over $550,000.
“Any time an employee uses a position of trust to steal from their employer, it is inexcusable and wrong. Here, Marshall’s crime was particularly reprehensible because he stole money, provided by South Carolina taxpayers, from a school district during a pandemic that has already created unprecedent challenges in public education,” said United States Attorney Corey Ellis. “I appreciate the work of the FBI in bringing this defendant to justice. This office will continue to prosecute those who try to use the pandemic, or any other circumstance, to enrich themselves at the expense of hard-working taxpayers and critical institutions.”
According to investigators, Marshall worked as a media communications specialist for the school district, and he created a scheme to defraud the district while buying classrooms remote learning cameras. Authorities say Marshall used fabricated documents, forged signatures and a false identity to steer the district’s purchasing contracts to companies he created. Authorities add that Marshall received funding for cameras which he never paid for. In total, officials say Marshall received more than $550,000 illegally.
Officials say other school district employees discovered Marshall’s scheme, confronted him and reported it to the FBI.
“Throughout the pandemic, individuals like Marshall have created schemes and exploited programs designed to aid the public,” said Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Columbia Special Agent in Charge Susan Ferensic. “Unfortunately, Marshall misused his position to commit fraud against a school district and line his own pockets. I’m thankful for the extensive work that was put into investigating this case. Let this serve as a reminder that we will not tolerate this criminal activity, and we will hold those involved accountable.”
Authorities say Marshall faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud, restitution, up to a $250,000 fine and three years of supervision after release.