The U.S. Attorney's Office has announced indictments against one employee and one former employee of the Beaumont Independent School District.
Named in a 19-count indictment are the district's Director of Finance Devin Wayne McCraney, 35, and the districts former Comptroller Sharika Bakah Allison, 43, both of Beaumont. They are charged with one count of conspiracy and 18 counts of fraud.
The 19-count indictment stems 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.
The Grand Jury has alleged that McCraney and Allison have been caught "red-handed" and if convicted, they will face justice, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office at Wednesday's news conference.
"The FBI recognizes that fighting public corruption is vital to preserving our democracy...Our public officials have and always will be held to a higher standard to maintain their positions of trust," said SAC Stephen L. Morris.
If convicted, the defendants each face up to 10 years in federal prison.
Neither has to surrender to authorities until the day for their first court appearance. That date has not been set.
Authorities say they are not a flight risk nor a threat to society.
U.S. Attorney Malcolm Bales said that there is no evidence that any other BISD employees were involved.
He also says of the $4 million stolen, federal agents have been able to recover about $1 million.
A spokesperson for BISD issued the following statement on the U.S. Attorney's Office Indictments:
The Beaumont Independent School District has been made aware of the indictments by the U.S. Attorney's Office. The district has and will continue to fully cooperate with all agencies involved. our primary objective is and always has been the educational achievement of our children.
The announcement comes just one day after the two-month mark since the administration building and homes of McCraney and Allison were raided by the FBI
At the time of the raids the Superintendent told reporters that the agents were looking into possible misuse of public funds.