Former Athens City Schools Administrator Sentenced in North Alabama Virtual Education Scheme
Montgomery, Alabama – Today, former Athens City Schools administrator, William Richard (“Rick”) Carter, Jr., 46, was sentenced to 66 months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), announced the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama. Carter was convicted by a jury in March of this year on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
Carter, along with his co-conspirators, William L. (“Trey”) Holladay, III, Gregory (“Greg”) Earl Corkren, David Webb Tutt, and Thomas Michael Sisk, participated in a scheme to fraudulently enroll students in public virtual schools and then falsely report those students to ALSDE. As a result of the scheme, districts received payments from Alabama’s Education Trust Fund as if the students actually attended public schools. The various defendants then received, for their own personal use, portions of the state money. The defendants skimmed the state money through direct cash payments and payments to third-party contractors owned by the various co-conspirators. Carter’s co-conspirators previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced last month.
Following his prison sentence, Carter will be on supervised release for three years. There is no parole in the federal system. The judge also ordered Carter to pay restitution in the amount of $1,303,514.28.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the United States Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan S. Ross, Alice S. LaCour, and Brett J. Talley prosecuted the case.