Two Plead Guilty to E-rate Wrongdoing
On November 7, 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Ohio announced that Shawn Clemmons pleaded guilty to submitting false claims to the federal government and Kenneth Collura pleaded guilty to making false statements. Both pleas were related to the men’s involvement in the E-rate program.
Clemmons was the executive director of an E-rate service provider in Ohio. According to court documents, Clemmons withheld E-rate reimbursement payments from schools, paying “one to two years later than was required, and would use the funds from one funding year to reimburse what was owed for previous funding years.” The total loss to schools totaled over $3.2M.
Collura was the Director of Communication and Instructional Technology for the Office of Catholic Schools in Columbus, OH. Collura negotiated E-rate contracts “knowing the fees were inflated and included funding for expenses that were not eligible for E-Rate funding… over the course of a five year contract, more than $700,000 was for undisclosed purposes.”
Both crimes are punishable by up to five years in prison, but sentences have not yet been determined. The Department of Justice’s press release may be found at https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdoh/pr/two-plead-guilty-wrongdoing-connection-federal-e-rate-schools-program.