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Former Tech Employee at Blue Ridge School District Pleads Guilty to Fraud Scheme; Agrees to Pay Back Money

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 SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A former technology coordinator who worked for Blue Ridge Community School District in Farmer, City, Ill., Joshua Raymer, 45, today waived indictment and pled guilty to a scheme that defrauded the district of approximately $336,276 over two years.  Raymer, of Clinton, Ill., entered his guilty plea by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins.

According to court documents, during the time Raymer carried out the scheme, from April 2016 to December 2018, he falsely represented to a district official that computer switches had failed, and replacements were needed to maintain the district’s computer system. 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 28 computer switches were ordered that were never paid for that resulted in a loss to the vendor of approximately $106,200.

When Raymer received the switches, he admitted that he sold them as if they were his personal property and used the money for himself. Acting under his name and doing business as “The Bored Woodworker,” Raymer contacted at least five different buyers and negotiated a purchase price for the switches that had been shipped to and paid for by the Blue Ridge school district. Raymer then shipped the switches to his buyers and had payments issued to himself or his business name.

Sentencing for Raymer is scheduled on June 21, 2021. As part of the plea agreement, Raymer has agreed to pay full restitution, in the amount of $336,276 to Blue Ridge School District and its insurer, and $106,200 to a computer vendor. In addition, although it is not charged conduct, Raymer has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $17,897 to Special Olympics Illinois, where he worked after he was no longer employed by the school district.

The statutory penalty for the offense of wire fraud is up to 20 years in prison. The government has agreed to recommend a sentence within the applicable advisory Sentencing Guidelines range.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass. The investigation was conducted by the Farmer City Police Department, with the full cooperation of the school district, which referred the matter to law enforcement.


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