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Wake Schools Fraud Conspirator Sentenced to Prison

Posted December 5, 2006

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— The last person charged in the Wake County Schools fraud case was sentenced Tuesday to 20 to 33 months in prison.

Angela Malloy-Sanders accepted a deal to plead guilty to an accessory charge in connection with a scheme that skimmed about $4 million from the school district. Her attorney tried to have the sentence in the deal reduced Tuesday morning, but a judge refused the request.

Investigators said some members of the Wake Schools Transportation Department diverted school money with sham orders for parts from Wilson-based vendor Barnes Motor and Parts. Investigators said the money was used to purchase gift cards and big-ticket items such as boats and campers.

Plea deals put former Barnes Motor manger Bobby Browder and Connie Capps in prison for five to 6½ years. At trial, it was found Capps' husband, Harold Estes, moved thousands of dollars in school money through his bank accounts. Estes is serving 11 to 15 years in prison.

Carol Finch, a former schools transportation budget analyst, received a six-year prison sentence, and her former co-worker Pam Stewart got a 60-day sentence and probation for helping to cover up the scheme.

Vern Hatley, the former transportation director for Wake County schools, is serving seven to 10 years for his role in the incident. Hatley has appealed his conviction. In February, he asked to withdraw his guilty plea, but a judge refused that request.

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