Employees of the Los Angeles school district and three other Southern California districts were charged yesterday with helping steal textbooks from the districts for a book buyer called “Doorkeeper Textz”.
Librarians, warehouse employees, and a campus supervisor were among the employees involved in the scheme, according to the Los Angeles Times. Employees were paid $200,000 altogether to allow Corey Frederick, the owner of Doorkeeper Textz, to take books between 2008 until 2010.
Textbooks were occasionally sold back to the districts that they had been stolen from.
The Times reports that prosecutors said that the districts did not have an organized system of tracking books and were not sure exactly how many books had been stolen.
Frederick has been charged with 12 counts of embezzlement and faces up to 19 years in prison, the Times reports. He was arrested last week.
Inglewood Unified School District police first identified the embezzlement scheme. Employees from the Inglewood, Los Angeles, and Lynwood school districts and a retired employee of the Bellflower district were also charged.
The Los Angeles district said in a release last night that it had just learned today that seven employees would be indicted.
From the district’s release:
We are taking immediate action to suspend any accused employee currently working for LAUSD. If the allegations are true, we will do everything within our legal power to recoup from the parties involved the resources stolen through these reprehensible acts. The LAUSD will cooperate with the DA's office in all aspects of this case.
This is not nearly the only textbook-stealing charge in recent years:
Earlier this summer, an Oklahoma man was charged with stealing $2.8 million worth of textbooks.
And Middle Tennessee State University, in Murfreesboro, had a crime alert out earlier this month for a bandit who was apparently stealing thousands of textbooks.
Last year, a ring of textbook thieves at George Washington University in Washington apparently included a hot dog vendor.
Maybe it’s not surprising to see these thefts at the K-12 level, too: Albert Greco, a professor at Fordham University, told National Public Radio in an unrelated story that hardback textbooks for high schoolers cost, on average, about $105 each.
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.