Athens City School Board says it will cooperate with federal authorities in fraud investigation

Athens

ATHENS, Ala. – The Athens City Board of Education said in a special called board meeting Thursday morning they will continue to work with federal authorities after some current and former employees were indicted on conspiracy, wire fraud and identity theft charges.

Board members had no other comment Thursday morning other than the statement.

The 80-page indictment alleges several of the school system’s current and former employees schemed to fraudulently enroll private school students in virtual programs for their own profit.

Rick Carter, the school system’s administrator, is one of those indicted. He has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Former Athens City Schools Superintendent Trey Holladay is accused of using the falsely enrolled students to inflate enrollment numbers, when let to receiving additional funding from the state. The indictment says Holladay pocketed some of that money for personal gain. Holladay faces 88 counts of wire fraud and 34 counts of aggravated identity theft in this case.

Holladay’s wife, Deborah, former Limestone County Superintendent Tom Sisk, Gregory Corkren and David Tutt, who worked at Marengo Academy in Linden were also all named in the indictment. Corkren and Tutt are both longtime friends of Trey Holladay, according to the indictment.

All six are charged with one count conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. In addition to that, Trey Holladay faces 88 counts of wire fraud and 34 counts of aggravated identity theft. Carter is charged with 86 wire fraud counts and 34 of aggravated identity theft. Deborah Holladay is charged with six counts of wire fraud, and Corkren faces one count of aggravated identity theft.

The alleged scheme centers around Athens Renaissance School and its offering of virtual education courses.

News 19 will be at the school board meeting Thursday morning. We will air the school board’s statement live on WHDF North Alabama’s CW during our morning news, and we will also live stream it right here on WHNT.com. The school system has told us we will not be allowed to ask any questions after the statement is read.

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