OIG: Office of Inspector General
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Investigative Report

July 21, 2006

U. S. Attorney David E. Nahmias
Northern District of Georgia
75 Spring Street, S.W. - Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30303-3309
Contact: Patrick Crosby
Tel: 404-581-6016
Fax: 404-581-6160

Former Georgia Education Official Sentenced for Making False Statements to Federal Agents

Atlanta, GA — MILLER E. FINLEY, 64, of Evans, Georgia, former Associate Superintendent for Federal Financial Accountability under State School Superintendent Linda C. Schrenko, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Clarence Cooper to three years' probation and a fine of $4,000 for making false statements to federal law enforcement agents during their investigation of the theft of over $600,000 in education funds. FINLEY was also ordered to perform 140 hours of community service. FINLEY pleaded guilty on January 20, 2005, to the felony offense of making false statements to federal agents, and he cooperated with federal authorities in the investigation and prosecution of Schrenko and her co-conspirators, Merle Temple and Stephan Botes. Schrenko and Temple pleaded guilty to fraud charges, and Botes was convicted of fraud charges following a jury trial earlier this year.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said about the case, "Federal agents expect and federal law requires that citizens interviewed during criminal investigations will tell the truth. If they do not, they will face prosecution for false statements. This sentence reflects the fact that Mr. Finley accepted responsibility for his conduct and cooperated in the prosecution of others who were more culpable."

According to Nahmias, the plea agreement and evidence in the case: FINLEY was employed as a federal programs manager in 2002 with the Georgia Department of Education. In October 2004, FINLEY was interviewed by agents of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI, and during the interview FINLEY falsely stated to federal agents that Georgia Department of Education checks totaling in excess of $500,000 were issued on July 24, 2002, in accordance with normal Department procedures, and that Superintendent Schrenko became involved in the issuance of those checks only after political factors had delayed their issuance. FINLEY subsequently admitted that those checks were issued at the explicit direction of Schrenko in a manner outside of standard Georgia Department of Education procedures.

The case was investigated by Special Agents of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI.

Assistant United States Attorneys Russell G. Vineyard and Daniel A. Caldwell are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact David E. Nahmias, United States Attorney or F. Gentry Shelnutt, Chief, Criminal Division, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.usdoj.gov/usao/gan.

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Last Modified: 09/08/2006