December 18, 2014

Highland Park School Board Member Sentenced to 18 Months for Stealing School Funds and Filing False Income Tax Return

Robert Davis, a member and former President of the Highland Park School Board, was sentenced today to 18 months’ imprisonment after having pleaded guilty to unlawful conversion of funds belonging to the school district and to filing a false federal income tax return, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade announced today. Davis will also be ordered to pay full restitution to the Highland Park School District in an amount to be determined at a later hearing.

U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow imposed sentence on Davis, 34, of Highland Park.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Paul Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Jarod Koopman, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Information provided to the court at the guilty plea hearing showed that from 2007 through 2010, Davis used his authority as a member of the school board to cause the school district to issue checks to companies controlled by associates of Davis. At Davis’s direction, those companies then issued checks totaling almost $200,000 to another entity controlled by Davis, Citizens United to Save Highland Park Schools. Davis then used those funds for personal expenses. In addition, Davis knowingly and intentionally failed to report the income he received on his federal income tax returns.

United States Attorney McQuade stated, “Any betrayal of the public trust is deplorable, but stealing from schools is the most reprehensible kind of corruption because it robs children of educational opportunities.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and IRS CI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sheldon N. Light and Dawn N. Ison, and former AUSA Pamela Thompson.