Plainfield's school district was among a number in New Jersey allegedly defrauded by a sports equipment distributor, according to reports in today's Courier (see here), Lehigh Valley Live (see here), the New York Times (see here), and Forbes (see here).
An extended version of the story in the Courier's PRINT EDITION ONLY, lists the gift of golf clubs
The firm would routinely engage in double-billing the victimized school districts -- apparently with the collusion of school athletic officials -- and would recoup the cost of such gifts as those given in the Plainfield case by submitting inflated bills.
In the same way, the firm would recover amounts donated to school fundraisers such as golf outings.
The investigation has been going on for about four years.
While many school officials are unnamed, it would not be unusual for the feds to pressure those who accepted gifts or participated in the fraud into testifying against those indicted in exchange for lesser charges against themselves.
So far, there has been nary a word from the Plainfield school district about who the official involved is (or was), when the alleged incidents happened, or what action has been taken.
Look for the Plainfield angle on this story to expand as the case unfolds.
- Courier: "Two indicted in fraud against NJ schools"
- Lehigh Valley Live: "Executives accused of double-billing schools almost $1M"
- New York Times: "Circle Systems Group accused of defrauding many schools"
- Forbes: "2 sports gear firm execs charged in NJ fraud"
- Federal District Court, NJ: "Indictment: Kurlander and Abeshaus (PDF)"
-- Dan Damon [follow]