Former BISD employees set for change of plea hearing

Two former Beaumont Independent School District employees who pleaded not guilty amid allegations of $4 million of embezzlement from the district have filed paperwork to schedule a change of plea hearing in federal court.

Former BISD Comptroller Sharika Allison, 43, Monday agreed to appear in court on April 14 for a change of plea hearing.

In January, Allison and the district's former Director of Finance Devin Wayne McCraney, 35, were named in a 19-count indictment charging each with one count of conspiracy and 18 counts of fraud.

McCraney has already agreed to appear.  His change of plea hearing is also set for April 14.

The charges stem from evidence including 18 fraudulent wire transfers totaling $2.7 million and 5 wire transfers totaling $1.35 million. The money was moved to bank accounts under the control of McCraney and Allison.

McCraney is accused of enlisting Allison, who worked for him, in his scheme. Authorities say she set up a bogus company, and called it "Milimann Consultants". BISD does regular business with "Milliman USA. Investigators don't believe the similarity of the names is a coincidence, they believe it was done purposely to confuse and use the fake company to divert district funds to the personal accounts of Allison and McCraney.

Authorities say five wire transfers from BISD's Bank of America account were made to a Capital One account owned by Sharika Allison, doing business as Miliman Consultants. After each transfer, investigators say Allison would write a check or series of checks to McCraney for about one-half of the funds she had received.

 


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