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Former head of Alabama school district pleads in fraud case

April 9, 2021 GMT

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former head of an Alabama school district has pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge.

Tom Sisk, former superintendent for Limestone County Schools, entered the plea Thursday in U.S. District Court in Montgomery to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. He appeared by video teleconference in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerusha T. Adams, multiple news agencies reported.

Sisk is one of six people facing charges in an alleged multi-million dollar scheme. Prosecutors said the indictment alleges that the defendants were involved in a complicated scheme to fraudulently enroll students in public virtual schools. Private school students were wrongly counted as being enrolled in online classes through public schools to boost attendance by hundreds and obtain additional state funding, the indictment said.

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“It’s the right thing to do.,” Sisk told the court of his plea.

Retired teacher Gregory Corkren and former Marengo Academy football coach David Tutt also pleaded guilty Thursday. Each entered a plea for conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud. Corkren also faced a charge of aggravated identity theft.

Sisk, Corkren and Tutt remain on bond until sentencing. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Others who are charged in the case include former Athens City Schools Superintendent Trey Holladay, his wife Deborah Holladay, a retired teacher, and Rick Carter, Athens City Schools’ director of planning.