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Press Release

Former Tech Employee at Blue Ridge School District Sentenced to 30 Months' Imprisonment

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A former technology coordinator who worked for Blue Ridge Community School District in Farmer, City, Ill., Joshua Raymer, 45, was sentenced on July 22, 2021, to 30 months in federal prison, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release, in relation to a scheme that defrauded the district of approximately $336,276 over two years. 

Raymer pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection with the scheme in February 2021. According to court documents, during the time Raymer carried out the scheme, from April 2016 to December 2018, he falsely represented to a district official that computer switches had failed, and replacements were needed to maintain the district’s computer system. Raymer repeatedly used his position to have the district order and pay for more than 100 computer switches that it did not use or need, from two separate vendors, at a total cost of more than $400,000. Another 28 computer switches were ordered that were never paid for that resulted in a loss to the vendor of approximately $106,200.

When Raymer received the switches, he admitted that he sold them as if they were his personal property and used the money for himself. Acting under his name and doing business as “The Bored Woodworker,” Raymer contacted at least five different buyers and negotiated a purchase price for the switches that had been shipped to and paid for by the Blue Ridge school district. Raymer then shipped the switches to his buyers and had payments issued to himself or his business name.

At the sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Sue E. Myerscough also ordered Raymer to pay $460,373.77 in restitution. Raymer is required to pay $336,276 to the school district and its insurer and $106,200 to a computer vendor. The judge also ordered Raymer to pay an additional $17,897.77 to Special Olympics Illinois in relation to a theft from that organization, where Raymer worked following his employment with the school district. Raymer had agreed to pay restitution in relation to that uncharged conduct as part of his plea agreement.

“The Farmer City Police Department deserves praise for an outstanding investigation,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Douglas J. Quivey. “Public corruption at any level of government simply cannot be tolerated. Our school children deserve quality technology, and prosecution with a resulting prison sentence that includes restitution serves to restore a needed level of public trust and reminds us all that those who decide to cheat will pay a stiff price.”

The charges were investigated by the Farmer City, Ill., Police Department, with the full cooperation of the school district, which referred the matter to law enforcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Bass represented the government in the prosecution.

Updated July 23, 2021

Financial Fraud