OIG: Office of Inspector General
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Investigative Report

The United States Attorney’s Office

Western District of Virginia

Department of Justice

United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy
Western District of Virginia

Monday, October 04, 2010

CONTACT: Brian McGinn
PHONE: 434-295-8672
FAX: 434-293-4910
EMAIL: Brian.McGinn@usdoj.gov


Anita Price Johnston Admitted To Stealing Funds

ROANOKE, VIRGINIA --The former Clerk of the Montgomery County School Board has pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia to stealing funds from the Montgomery County School Board.

Anita Price Johnston, 45, of Elliston, Virginia, waived her right to indictment and pled guilty today to a criminal Information charging her with one count of mail fraud in relation to her employment as the Clerk of the Montgomery County School Board.

"As schools throughout the Commonwealth struggle with budget shortfalls, we must do all we can to ensure that school officials responsibly handle their limited funds," United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. "Ms. Johnston used money which was promised to Montgomery County schoolchildren to line her own pockets. Today's plea ensures that she will be held accountable for her greed. It also requires her to pay restitution in the full amount of her fraud, which Will make her victim the Montgomery County School Board -whole."

Today in District Court, the defendant admitted to transferring checks and money orders that were meant to be deposited into the account of the Montgomery County School Board and placing them into her personal checking accounting. Johnston admitted to stealing money from the school board for a period of at least 24 months, in which time she stole over $120,000. Much of the monies the defendant stole were checks and money orders submitted to the Montgomery County School Board for fees paid as "use of facility payments." Once these, and other, payments were received, Johnston would deposit the funds into her personal account instead of the school board's account, as intended.

The investigation of the case was conducted by United States Postal Inspection Service, the Christiansburg, Virginia Police Department and the United States Department of Education. The Montgomery County School Board played a crucial role in identifying the fraud and brining the actions of Ms. Johnson to the attention of law enforcement. Assistant United States Attorney C. Patrick Hogeboom III is prosecuting the case for the United States.

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Last Modified: 10/13/2010