COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — Former Orangeburg School District Employee David Cortez Marshall was sentenced today to almost three years for defrauding the Orangeburg County School District of over $550,000.
“Fraud of any nature is illegal and wrong, but fraud against a public school – in the middle of a pandemic – is unconscionable,” said U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis. “Mr. Marshall’s prison sentence reflects the seriousness of his offense and our dedication to deterring public fraud. His restitution order ensures that he’ll be obligated to pay back every penny he stole from the public.”
“Today, justice was served, and a criminal was held accountable,” said Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Columbia Special Agent in Charge, Susan Ferensic. “Our work is not finished. We will continue to hold perpetrators accountable and see that their crimes are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent.”
Evidence presented to the Court showed that Marshall, a former media communications specialist employed by the Orangeburg County School District, created a scheme to defraud the district while purchasing remote learning cameras for school classrooms. Through the use of shell companies, fabricated documents, forged signatures, and a false identity, Marshall steered the district’s purchasing contracts to companies he created and controlled, purchased the cameras, then sold them to the school at a substantial markup. Marshall also received funds from the school district for the cameras that he never paid to the seller. Through his scheme to defraud, Marshall received more than $550,000 in illegal proceeds. His scheme was eventually discovered by other school district employees, who confronted Marshall and reported the matter to the FBI for further investigation.
United States District Judge Mary G. Lewis sentenced Marshall to 33 months imprisonment, to be followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system. Marshall was also ordered to pay approximately $600,000 in restitution.
This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brook Andrews is prosecuting the case.