OIG: Office of Inspector General
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Investigative Report

For Immediate Release:
May 17, 2006

New releases can be found at www.usdoj.gov/usao/lae.

United States Department of Justice
U. S. Attorney, Eastern District of Louisiana

Jim Letten
United States Attorney

500 Poydras Street, Suite B210
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

Kathy English (504) 680-3068

Another Former Orleans Parish School Employee Pleads Guilty in Federal Courts

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - Jim Letten, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, James Bernazzani, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Patricia Vangilder, Special Agent in Charge, U. S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, announced today that TRYNITHA FULTON, age 27, pled guilty to federal felonies involving fraud and kickbacks in the Orleans Parish school system. FULTON pled guilty before U. S. District Judge Stanwood Duval to violations of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951, the Hobbs Act and Hobbs Act Conspiracy. Each count carries a maximum statutory penalty of twenty (20) years incarceration.

The former employee of the Orleans Parish school system was charged with engaging in a kickback scheme whereby teachers, secretaries and para-educators received illicit monies they did not earn in the form of fraudulent payments for class hours not actually worked. In return for these illegal monies, the employees would and did kick back a portion of the amount of the illegal payments. The indictment charged that Fulton received approximately $2,660.00 of school system money in the extortion scheme. According to a plea letter filed in court, Fulton is expected to offer cooperation

FULTON was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in December, 2004, along with three other defendants, Debra Harrison, Drena Clay and John Baker, Jr. Baker pled guilty on April 6, 2006 and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 12, 2006. Harrison and Clay are set for jury trial on July 31, 2006.

This brings the number of guilty pleas in the Orleans Parish School System investigation to twenty (20).

United States Attorney Jim Letten said, "Today's guilty plea, which represents the twentieth consecutive felony conviction arising out of this ongoing anti-corruption investigation into the management of the Orleans Parish School System, should serve as ample evidence that we are committed to ferreting out corruption wherever it exists and rebuilding this City. Indeed, the U. S. Attorney's Office, along with our law enforcement partners, remains dedicated to establishing and maintaining a functional zero tolerance for corruption."

In a separate case, it was also announced that JUAWANNE SCOTT, age 33, was sentenced by U. S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan to ten (10) months incarceration and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $39,000, as a result of her guilty plea for conspiracy to commit bank larceny and bank larceny involving the Orleans Public School Federal Credit Union. SCOTT, along with two other employees of the credit union, Sherry Wilkerson and Angela Williams, withdrew monies from dormant customer accounts and deposited the monies into their own accounts. They also processed checks they had written on their personal accounts without debiting their personal accounts.

Sherry Wilkerson and Angela Williams pled guilty on April 27, 2005 and are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Berrigan on May 24, 2006.

These cases were investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigatoin assigned to the Public Corruption Squad, along with agents from the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General.

These cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Carter K. D. Guice, Jr. and G. Dall Kammer of the Financial Crimes Unit, who will continue conducting this important corruption investigation

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Last Modified: 05/22/2006