Collin County Man Guilty in Plano Independent School District Embezzlement Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 01, 2014|
PLANO, TX—A 59-year-old Princeton, Texas man has pleaded guilty in connection with his role in a conspiracy to embezzle more than $2.5 million from the Plano Independent School District, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Kris Wilson Gentz pleaded guilty to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit federal program fraud today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Don Bush.
According to information presented in court, from August 2001 to December 2013, Gentz was employed by the Plano ISD as a manager and Security and Fire Systems security support specialist. Gentz was responsible for ensuring that Plano ISD schools were equipped with fire and security alarms that were properly maintained. Between 2004 and December 2013, Gentz and two other individuals set up two companies called Fire System Specialists (FSS) and Digital Security Solutions (DSS) that were allegedly in the business of maintaining fire safety systems and security systems. Gentz and his co-conspirators generated fraudulent FSS and DSS invoices and submitted them to Plano ISD for payment. Gentz, in his Plano ISD management role, corruptly approved these invoices; however, the services and products referenced on the invoices were never provided or delivered. When payment was made to FSS and DSS, Gentz and his co-conspirators would split the profits between themselves. Over the course of the scheme, Gentz and his co-conspirators obtained more than $2.5 million from Plano ISD. Gentz acknowledged that he had abused the position of trust that Plano ISD had given him.
“Public corruption always involves the breach of a position of trust,” said U.S. Attorney Bales, “and, even apart from the financial impact, erodes the trust of taxpayers and the community. We commend Plano ISD for discovering the corrupt conduct and reporting it to the authorities, and we recognize our law enforcement partners for their quick action in addressing this case. We intend this case to be a message that we will not tolerate public corruption in the Eastern District of Texas or anywhere else.”
“The FBI, Department of Education, Plano Police Department, and Plano Independent School District should be commended for their collaborative investigative efforts, which led to a quick resolution in this matter,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Diego Rodriguez.
“Today’s action shows that this individual not only knowingly and willfully abused his position of trust for personal gain, but he did so at the expense of the educational development of children. That is unacceptable,” said Marcus Culpepper, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General’s Southwest Regional Office. “As the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of Education, I’m proud of the work of OIG special agents and our law enforcement colleagues for holding this man accountable for his criminal actions and for cheating Plano’s students.”
Gentz faces up to five years in federal prison. A date for sentencing has not yet been set.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Education-Office of Inspector General, and the Plano Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shamoil T. Shipchandler.