DOJ: Former Orangeburg County School District employee sentence for defrauding school district
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a former employee of the Orangeburg County School District was sentenced to nearly three years in prison for defrauding the school board out of more than $550,000.
“Fraud of any nature is illegal and wrong, but fraud against a public school – in the middle of a pandemic – is unconscionable,” said U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis. “Mr. Marshall’s prison sentence reflects the seriousness of his offense and our dedication to deterring public fraud. His restitution order ensures that he’ll be obligated to pay back every penny he stole from the public.”
Authorities say David Cortez Marshall worked as a media communications specialist, and he created a scheme while buying remote learning cameras for classrooms. According to investigators, Marshall used shell companies and fabricated documents, forged signatures and a false identity to steer the district’s purchasing contracts to the companies he created. Officials say he then purchased the cameras and sold them to the school district at a substantial markup.
Additionally, officials say Marshall also received payment for some cameras from the school district which he never purchased from the seller.
Investigators say the scheme was eventually discovered by another employee of the school district who confronted Marshall and reported it to the FBI.
“Today, justice was served, and a criminal was held accountable,” said Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Columbia Special Agent in Charge, Susan Ferensic. “Our work is not finished. We will continue to hold perpetrators accountable and see that their crimes are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent.”
The scheme netted Marshall over $550,000, according to investigators. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison, followed by three years of court-ordered supervision. Additionally, officials say he is required to pay about $600,000 in restitution.