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Press Release

Former EAA Principal Sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Bribery

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

Kenyetta Wilbourn Snapp, 41, a former Educational Achievement Authority (“EAA”) principal of Denby High School and later of Mumford High School, was sentenced today to twelve months in prison as a result of her pleading guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to commit federal program bribery and federal income tax evasion charges, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced. In addition, Snapp was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $58,050 to EAA as well as $26,233 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Joining McQuade in the announcement were David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Jarod J. Koopman, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.

At the time of the plea, Snapp admitted to selecting Making a Difference Everyday (“M.A.D.E.”), a company owned by co-defendant Glynis Thornton , as the after-school tutoring vendor for Denby High School and then Mumford High School. In exchange, Thornton paid Snapp monetary kickbacks totaling approximately $58,000, as a reward for Snapp selecting and retaining M.A.D.E. as the after-school tutoring vendor. Thornton admitted that she disguised payments to Snapp by causing checks to be issued payable to a M.A.D.E. employee’s company, rather than paying Snapp directly. The M.A.D.E. employee would then deposit and withdraw the money and give it to Snapp. Snapp also admitted to failing to report the kickback payments as income during taxable year 2012.

"Ms. Snapp deserves to spend time in prison for her betrayal of public trust, but this sentence demonstrates the value of early cooperation to provide information about the criminal acts of others”, stated United States Attorney McQuade.

"Ms. Snapp and Ms. Thornton's efforts to divert funds from the struggling Detroit Public School District and students trying to better themselves is particularly disturbing," said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Detroit Division. "These convictions represent the commitment of the FBI and our partners to expose and shut down schemes that would rob our communities of the education and services that they count on and deserve."

IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Koopman stated, "When public officials commitcrimes, whether as part of their official duties or in their private lives, they are violating the trust of the people they serve. IRS-CI will continue to hold them accountable for their actions".

This case was investigated by agents of the FBI and IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys J. Michael Buckley and Frances Carlson.

Updated June 1, 2016

Public Corruption