On March 19, 2008, Judy N. Green, a former education consultant from Temecula, CA, was sentenced to 7 ½ years of prison by the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The jury found her guilty on 22 counts of fraud, bid rigging, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud relating to technology projects funded by the E-Rate Program.
Under the purview of the Federal Communication Commission, the E-Rate Program was authorized under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to provide school districts with funds to connect to the internet.
On September 14, 2007, Ms. Green was convicted of committing fraud and bid rigging by inflating costs of equipment to buy ineligible equipment and misrepresenting the school district’s ability to pay its portion of the costs. She was accused of favoring vendors whom she had relationships with in the past. Between 1998-2003, Ms. Green was involved in 25 projects in seven states – Arkansas, California, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.
As a part of the DOJ’s ongoing investigation in defrauding the E-Rate Program, a total of six companies and 12 individuals have pled guilty or have been convicted and found guilty. Some have entered into civil settlements totaling approximately $40 million. Trials are currently pending in three additional E-Rate cases and one defendant remains an international fugitive.