News Releases

September 5, 2013: A Dozen School District Employees Indicted in Textbook Theft Case

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Jane Robison, Assistant Media Chief
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District Attorney Jackie Lacey today announced that 13 people, including two librarians, a campus supervisor and a former warehouse manager, have been indicted for allegedly stealing thousands of new and used textbooks from four school districts in a massive scheme orchestrated by a Los Angeles book buyer.

The 37-count indictment was returned on Aug. 20 and unsealed today after 12 of the 13 defendants were arraigned and pleaded not guilty. The indictment names employees in the financially troubled Los Angeles, Inglewood, Lynwood and Bellflower school districts.

“Taking books out of the hands of public school students is intolerable – especially when school employees sell them for their own personal profit,” District Attorney Lacey said. “I commend the tenacity of our Public Integrity Division prosecutors and investigators in untangling this complicated web of deceit at our children’s expense.”

Lacey said the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation after Inglewood Unified School District police uncovered the alleged embezzlement in their district and presented the case to the District Attorney’s office for criminal prosecution.

Deputy District Attorneys Susan Schwartz and Kennes Ma with the Public Integrity Division are prosecuting the case.

The indictment alleges that 12 employees were recruited by Corey Frederick, 43 (dob 6/5/70), a book buyer and seller who operates “Doorkeeper Textz” in Long Beach. Over a two-year period beginning in May 2008, Frederick allegedly paid school employees anywhere from $600 up to $47,000 per person to steal textbooks in literature and language arts, economics, physics, anatomy and physiology.

In total, prosecutors allege Frederick paid out more than $200,000 in bribes to the school employees named in the indictment. In return, the employees allegedly allowed Frederick to take whatever books he requested, even, on some occasions, allowing him to take new textbooks.

Frederick then allegedly resold the stolen new and used books to various textbook distributors, including Amazon, Seattle book distributor Bookbyte, and Follett Educational Services in Illinois.

Prosecutors said that in some cases, they discovered that books stolen from the districts were resold to the same districts.

Prosecutors said at least 7,000 textbooks were taken just from LAUSD. However, because the districts lacked any organized system to track books, prosecutors said they did not have a total number of books stolen.

The 12 school employees are charged in case BA400292 with one felony count each of embezzlement and accepting a bribe. Frederick is charged with 12 counts of embezzlement and 13 counts of offering a bribe.

Among those indicted are:

  • Veronica Clanton-Higgins, 36, a librarian in the Lynwood Unified School District. Clanton-Higgins allegedly accepted $14,214 in checks from Frederick between June 6, 2008, and Dec. 2, 2010.
  • Shari Stewart, 46, a librarian in the Inglewood Unified School District. Stewart worked at Crozier Middle School when she allegedly received $4,200 in checks between July 10, 2008, and Dec. 2, 2010, from Frederick.
  • Vincent Browning, a Bellflower Unified School District warehouse supervisor. Browning allegedly received a total of $47,728 from Frederick between Nov. 18, 2008, and Sept. 27, 2010. Browning, who has since retired, was the only employee from Bellflower Unified School District to be indicted.
  • Frank Fuston, 54, who worked as a plant manager in the Inglewood Unified School District when he allegedly received $1,100 in checks and cash in July 2008 from Frederick.

Among the LAUSD employees named in the indictment:

  • Sandra Williams, 58, who worked as an office technician at University High School, when she allegedly received $34,718 in checks between June 10, 2008, and Oct. 8, 2010, from Frederick.
  • Denise Hill, 57, who worked as an office technician at Webster Middle School, when she allegedly received $4,003 in checks between March 12, 2009, and Sept. 23, 2010, from Frederick.
  • Dinah Goodlett, 53, who worked as an office technician at Locke High School, when she allegedly received $6,099 in checks between June 17, 2009, and Aug. 17, 2009, from Frederick.
  • Adrienne Dozier, 62, who worked as an office technician at Venice High School, when she allegedly received $12,798 in checks between June 25, 2008, and Oct. 26, 2010, from Frederick.
  • Sherry Calloway, 60, who worked as an office technician at Audubon Middle School, when she allegedly received $1,191 in checks between May 31, 2009, and Sept. 3, 2009.
  • Stephanie Baurac-Holmes, 48, who worked as an office technician at Perry Middle School and Narbonne High School, when she allegedly received $4,675 in checks between June 19, 2008, and Oct. 8, 2010, from Frederick.
  • Olalekan Animasaun, 37, who worked as an office technician at Santee Education Center, when he allegedly received $21,573 in checks between Jan. 30, 2009, and Oct. 8, 2010, from Frederick.