HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The first criminal trial in the wide-ranging federal fraud investigation into the Athens City and Limestone County school systems is near completion.
A jury is now deliberating the case of Rick Carter, who served in a host of technology roles for the Athens City Schools. He has been on trial in Montgomery since late February, facing charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and identity theft.
In February 2021, Carter was among six education officials — including former Athens Superintendent Trey Holladay and former Limestone County Superintendent Tom Sisk — to be indicted in a scheme where they allegedly defrauded the state of Alabama by claiming private school students in a handful of Alabama Black Belt schools, were enrolled in a virtual Athens City Schools academy.
Federal prosecutors say the scheme netted $5.8 million for the Athens City Schools and $1.1 million for Limestone County Schools.
Carter allegedly misled the Alabama Department of Education regarding student enrollment. Prosecutors also say he received payments used for a family member.
The court has denied Carter’s motion for acquittal on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
Holladay and Sisk have pleaded guilty. Sisk is due to be sentenced on May 11, after pleading guilty to a conspiracy to defraud the government charge. Holladay is due in court June 2 for sentencing on a charge of conspiracy to defraud the Alabama Department of Education
Two other men involved in the case, Gregory Corkren of Tuscaloosa and David Tutt on Uniontown, also pleaded guilty. They are both due for sentencing on May 11. They both entered guilty pleas on conspiracy to defraud charges and Corkren also pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated identify theft.
Prosecutors dropped charges against Deborah Holladay who was named in the original indictment.