A former Orangeburg School District employee has been sentenced to almost three years in federal prison for defrauding the district of more than $550,000.
David Cortez Marshall was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Mary G. Lewis to 33 months imprisonment, to be followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision.
There is no parole in the federal system. Marshall was also ordered to pay approximately $600,000 in restitution.
“Fraud of any nature is illegal and wrong, but fraud against a public school – in the middle of a pandemic – is unconscionable,” U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis said in a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of South Carolina. “Mr. Marshall’s prison sentence reflects the seriousness of his offense and our dedication to deterring public fraud. His restitution order ensures that he’ll be obligated to pay back every penny he stole from the public.”
Evidence presented to the court showed that Marshall, a former media communications specialist employed by the Orangeburg County School District, purchased remote learning cameras for school classrooms. Through the use of shell companies, fabricated documents, forged signatures and a false identity, Marshall steered the district’s purchasing contracts to companies he created and controlled, purchased the cameras, then sold them to the school at a substantial markup.
Marshall also received funds from the school district for the cameras that he never paid to the seller and received more than $550,000 in illegal proceeds. He was eventually confronted by other school district employees, who confronted Marshall and contacted the FBI, the release said.
“Today, justice was served, and a criminal was held accountable,” said FBI Columbia Special Agent in Charge Susan Ferensic. “Our work is not finished. We will continue to hold perpetrators accountable and see that their crimes are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent.”
Marshall also faces state tax evasion charges.