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Athens computer store owner charged with using a church school to defraud a federal computer surplus program for $22M

ATHENS, Ala.  — A federal grand jury has indicted a Limestone County man in an alleged 10-year scam involving surplus federal computers.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois reported the indictment accuses 50-year-old Steven Mays of defrauding the federal “Computers for Learning” program.

The General Services Administration program transfers computers and related equipment the government doesn’t need directly to schools and nonprofit organizations at no cost.

Mays is the owner of Mays Computers & Outdoors, located on Highway 72 West near Lindsay Lane in Athens. The business was raided by federal agents in October of 2017.

The indictment alleges Mays obtained $22 million worth of computer equipment on behalf of a church school in Illinois, but kept most of the equipment for his own personal gain. The indictment claims he registered multiple user identifications in the name of Dwight Baptist and told school officials he would refurbish the equipment he obtained for them.

Mays allegedly provided a small portion of the equipment to the school, sold some of it to recycling centers and on eBay, or just threw it in the dumpster.

Multiple government sectors of the Office of the Inspector General, including EPA, GSA, and NASA, were involved in the investigation.

Mays does not have a listed phone number and it was unclear whether he has an attorney.

Read the full indictment against Steven Mays here: