Thursday, March 31, 2011

Charles County Public School Employee Charged In Theft Scheme

The Baynet
March 31, 2011

Allegedly Stole Computers, Apple iPods, and other Technology Equipment Purchased Using Federal Funds Intended for the Needs of School Children

Greenbelt, Maryland - A criminal complaint was filed late yesterday charging Rhayda Barnes-Thomas, age 40, of Accokeek, Maryland, with theft concerning a federal government program and making false statements in connection with a scheme to use federal funds received by her school employer to buy technology items used for herself, her family and friends. Barnes-Thomas is scheduled to have an initial appearance today at 4:15 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jillyn K. Schulze.

The complaint was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Steven D. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Department of Education - Office of Inspector General; and Charles County Sheriff Rex Coffey.

The U.S. Department of Education provides federal funding, known as Title I grants, to public school districts with enrollment of low-income families to help ensure that all children meet appropriate academic standards. Typical uses of Title I funding include purchasing equipment for classroom education. According to the affidavit supporting the criminal complaint, since approximately 2006, Barnes-Thomas has been the Title I coordinator for the Charles County (Maryland) Public Schools (the County Schools), assigned to manage the County Schools’ Title I funding, including overseeing the purchases of technology equipment for use in classrooms paid for with federal funds.

Read more HERE.

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