Two librarians are among a dozen Southern California school employees accused of stealing thousands of textbooks from their districts in exchange for thousands of dollars, paid allegedly by a Southland book buyer, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Some of the books taken from financially strapped public schools were resold to the districts from which they were stolen, investigators said.
Book buyer and seller Corey Frederick, 43, is accused of running the two-year scheme.
The operator of “Doorkeeper Textz” in Long Beach, Frederick allegedly paid between $6,000 and $47,000 to the school employees in exchange for literature, language arts, economics, physical anatomy and physiology textbooks.
At least 7,000 textbooks were taken from the Los Angeles Unified School District alone, prosecutors said, adding that because districts do not have a system to track the books, they do not know how many texts were stolen.
The allegedly stolen texts were resold to various distributors, including Amazon, Bookbyte and Follett Educational Services, the DA said.
Police with the Inglewood Unified School District first uncovered the alleged embezzlement scheme in their district. The investigation grew to include employees from the Los Angeles, Lynwood and Bellflower school districts, officials said.
Frederick is accused of paying out a total of more than $200,000 in bribes to these employees, according to the DA’s office:
Twelve of the 13 defendants have pleaded not guilty in the 37-count indictment, which was unsealed Thursday.
Each school employee faces one felony count each of embezzlement and accepting a bribe. Frederick faces 12 counts of embezzlement and 14 counts of offering a bribe, authorities said.
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