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Blue Ridge tech coordinator pleads guilty to fraud scheme

Blue Ridge tech coordinator pleads guilty to fraud scheme

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FARMER CITY — A former technology coordinator for Blue Ridge Community School District pleaded guilty Thursday to a fraud scheme that shorted the district $336,276 over two years. 

Joshua Raymer, 45, appeared in court remotely before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins, where he waived indictment and entered a guilty plea. 

The Clinton resident had been employed by the district for more than three and a half years, during which he "falsely represented to a district official that computer switches had failed and replacements were needed to maintain the district's computer system," according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

Once the switches arrived, Raymer took them and sold them under the business name of "The Bored Woodworker." The Clinton resident contacted "at least five different buyers" and shipped the switches to them in return for payments made either to himself or his assumed business name. 

The scheme lasted from April 2016 to December 2018, during which time Raymer "repeatedly used his position to have the district order and pay for more than 100 computer switches that it did not use or need, from two separate vendors, at a total cost of more than $400,000."

Another vendor lost around $106,200 after the district ordered "another 28 computer switches that were never paid for." 

Raymer faces a prison sentence of up to 20 years. A sentencing date is slated for June 21. 

Per his plea agreement, Raymer agreed to repay the district and its insurer in the full amount of $336,276, along with $106,200 to a computer vendor. He will also pay another employer, Special Olympics Illinois, $17,897 in restitution, although he was not formally charged with a crime regarding that organization. 


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