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Press Release

Former Detroit Public Schools Director of Grant Development Sentenced on Fraud Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

The former Detroit Public Schools Director of Grant Development was sentenced today to 18 months in prison and an additional 4 months in a community corrections center upon her release, as a condition of supervised release, after having pleaded guilty to federal program fraud, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch.


Joining Lemisch in the announcement were David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bernadette Kakooza, Inspector General of the Detroit Public Schools.


Carolyn StarkeyDarden, 72, of Detroit, was sentenced by United States District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III.


According to court records between 2005 and 2012, Carolyn StarkeyDarden, as president and/or agent of companies she established to provide supplemental educational services to eligible students in Michigan, obtained at least $1,275,000 from DPS through a scheme in which she submitted fraudulent invoices for payment to DPS for tutorial services that were never rendered to DPS students.


This case was investigated by agents of the FBI and the Office of Inspector General for Detroit Public Schools. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison.


The FBI Detroit Area Corruption Task Force (DACTF) is led by the FBI Detroit Field Office, and consists of Special Agents and law enforcement officers with the FBI Detroit; the Detroit Police Department; the Michigan State Police; the Michigan Attorney General’s Office; the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development–Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency–Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Department of Transportation–Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security–Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Department of Education–Office of Inspector General; and the U.S. Department of Labor–Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.

Updated March 31, 2017

Financial Fraud