THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 07, 2012
Former Ira Independent School District Superintendent Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Mail Fraud
LUBBOCK, Texas — Dr. Larry Gene Devitt, the former superintendent of the Ira Independent School District (IISD), appeared in federal court today before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings and pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Devitt faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution. In addition, in accordance with the terms of the plea agreement, Devitt agrees to voluntarily surrender his Texas Educator Certificate and understands that he will not have an opportunity to apply for another Certificate. Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report with a sentencing date to be set after the completion of that report.
According to documents filed in the case, from July 2006 through July 2007, while Devitt, 64, of Snyder, Texas, served as the superintendent of the IISD, he embezzled $13,438 in federal funds. He misused IISD vendors and the IISD Visa and Discover credit cards, issued in his name, to purchase property for his personal benefit. Devitt, however, represented that he was using the IISD credit cards and vendors for IISD work-related expenses, including supplies, travel, staff development and training. Devitt directed IISD staff to pay the vendors and credit cards by drawing a check on the IISD accounts.
Case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulina Jacobo is in charge of the prosecution.