News and Press Releases

Former Lakeland School District Transportation Director Pleads Guilty to Federal Program Fraud

August 10, 2011

     The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced that the former Director of Transportation for the Lakeland School District, Lackawanna County, pleaded guilty August 9, 2011 to conspiracy to obtain by fraud school district funds in connection with transportation contracts he recommended during 2006 through 2009.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, John Wansacz, Jr., age 41, of Greenfield Township, admitted to using his official position to steer school district transportation contracts to Northeast Student Transportation, a company in which he had a financial interest and from which he received payments in excess of $70,000 during a three-year time period. The plea was entered at a hearing yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Malachy E. Mannion in Wilkes-Barre.

     Wansacz was charged in an Information filed by the United States Attorney on July 27, 2011. The charge stems from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation which began as a result of findings and an adjudication by the Pennsylvania Ethic Commission in 2010. The Lackawanna County District Attorney's office also assisted in the investigation.

     Wansacz was charged with violating the federal statute that prohibits obtaining property by fraud from an organization that receives federal program funds. Wansacz faces a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison; a $250,000 fine; three years of supervised release; and a $100 special assessment. The case is assigned to U.S. Senior District Court Judge Richard P. Conaboy. No date for sentencing has been set.

     The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.


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