MPS Audit: Former Jefferson Davis High School Assistant Principal Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
Former Jefferson Davis High School assistant principal, Walter James, III, is facing up to 20 years in prison for mishandling $330,060.15, as detailed in a 2017 MPS audit.
An audit of the Montgomery Public Schools financial records showed more than $700,000 missing from the school system. Montgomery Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Arthur Watts originally discovered the misuse of school funding in February. The details of that 106-page audit, which spans from October 2017 to September 2018, show several employees spent public funds to make purchases at a gentlemen’s club, a bar, for online gaming, video sites and more.
All of the individuals alleged to have stolen school funds no longer work for MPS.
The former assistant principal, plead guilty to wire fraud on Tuesday, August 18. James served as assistant principal at the school from 2014 until June 2019.
According to court documents, James from August 2016 until April 2019 devised a scheme to obtain money and/or property under false pretenses. He would create and submit fraudulent invoices to MPS for payment. In preparing the invoices, James would create the name of the professional development or consulting company and include that name as the vendor on the invoice. James held himself to be the owner of that company.
An employee of the MPS central office would then process and approve the false and fraudulent invoices. As a result of the submission of the false and fraudulent invoices, the MPS would generate checks drawn on various MPS bank accounts that were made payable to the vendors James created and listed on the false and fraudulent invoices.
James faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the crime.