MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — A former assistant principal with Montgomery Public Schools has been sentenced to 60 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
On Tuesday, 50-year-old Walter James, III pleaded guilty to a scheme that created a loss of $314,867.55 to MPS. According to court documents, James owned a consulting company called “ED-ONE Professional Development Services” that would submit fraudulent invoices to the MPS central office for services that were not actually rendered. James would then collect payment through the consulting firm for items such as “three-day workshop” or “books and materials”.
The scheme took place from August 2016 to April 2019, and Acting United States Attorney Sandra J. Stewart says James needs to be held responsible for the harm he caused to teachers, students and parents.
“James ignored his responsibility to spend government funds on the children and he deprived both students and teachers of much-needed resources,” said Stewart. “I hope this prosecution sends a strong message to all those educators who put themselves above the needs of our children and their teachers that they will be held accountable.”
James will serve 60 months in prison and then three years of supervised release. He will also pay restitution in the amount of $314,867.55 to MPS for the monetary losses his scheme cost their system.