Los Angeles-area school workers indicted in textbook theft scheme

Desks in a classroom are shown in this undated file photo.
September 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Twelve local school workers have been indicted, accused of stealing thousands of textbooks from four area school districts.The indicted individuals include two librarians, a campus supervisor and a former warehouse manager from Los Angeles Unified and nearby districts in Inglewood, Lynwood and Bellflower, according to a statement released by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

All twelve were allegedly recruited by 43-year-old book buyer and seller Corey Frederick, who operates Doorkeeper Textz in Long Beach.

According to the indictment, which was unsealed on Thursday, between 2008 and 2010, Frederick paid the employees between $600 and $47,000 per person for language arts, economics, physics, anatomy and physiology books stolen from schools. Frederick then resold the books to Amazon and other major book buyers.

The bribes totaled $200,000, according to the indictment. The total number of stolen books remains unclear, but the indictment states that at least 7,000 textbooks were stolen from LAUSD alone.

LAUSD has suspended the accused employees, saying "We are outraged by the alleged behavior of these employees, which is the equivalent of stealing directly from our students."

Twelve of the 13 indicted pleaded not guilty. The twelve were charged with one felony count each of embezzlement and accepting a bribe. The status of the 13th was unclear. Frederick was charged with 12 counts of embezzlement and 13 counts of offering a bribe. Only 11 of the 12 were included in the list of names released in the indictment:

  • Veronica Clanton-Higgins, 36, a librarian in the Lynwood Unified School District. Clanton-Higgins allegedly accepted $14,214 in checks from Frederick between June 6, 2008, and Dec. 2, 2010.

  • Shari Stewart, 46, a librarian in the Inglewood Unified School District. Stewart worked at Crozier Middle School when she allegedly received $4,200 in checks between July 10, 2008, and Dec. 2, 2010, from Frederick.

  • Vincent Browning, a Bellflower Unified School District warehouse supervisor. Browning allegedly received a total of $47,728 from Frederick between Nov. 18, 2008, and Sept. 27, 2010. Browning, who has since retired, was the only employee from Bellflower Unified School District to be indicted.

  • Frank Fuston, 54, who worked as a plant manager in the Inglewood Unified School District when he allegedly received $1,100 in checks and cash in July 2008 from Frederick.

  • Sandra Williams, 58, who worked as an office technician at University High School, when she allegedly received $34,718 in checks between June 10, 2008, and Oct. 8, 2010, from Frederick.

  • Denise Hill, 57, who worked as an office technician at Webster Middle School, when she allegedly received $4,003 in checks between March 12, 2009, and Sept. 23, 2010, from Frederick.

  • Dinah Goodlett, 53, who worked as an office technician at Locke High School, when she allegedly received $6,099 in checks between June 17, 2009, and Aug. 17, 2009, from Frederick.

  • Adrienne Dozier, 62, who worked as an office technician at Venice High School, when she allegedly received $12,798 in checks between June 25, 2008, and Oct. 26, 2010, from Frederick.

  • Sherry Calloway, 60, who worked as an office technician at Audubon Middle School, when she allegedly received $1,191 in checks between May 31, 2009, and Sept. 3, 2009.

  • Stephanie Baurac-Holmes, 48, who worked as an office technician at Perry Middle School and Narbonne High School, when she allegedly received $4,675 in checks between June 19, 2008, and Oct. 8, 2010, from Frederick.

  • Olalekan Animasaun, 37, who worked as an office technician at Santee Education Center, when he allegedly received $21,573 in checks between Jan. 30, 2009, and Oct. 8, 2010, from Frederick.


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