SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A former technology coordinator who worked for the Blue Ridge Community School District in Farmer, City, Ill., Joshua Raymer, 45, was sentenced on July 22, 2021 to 30 months in federal prison, followed by a three-year supervised release sentence, in connection with a scheme that defrauded the district of approximately $ 336,276 over two years.
Raymer pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection with the scheme in February 2021. According to court documents, during the period that Raymer carried out the scheme, from April 2016 to December 2018, he falsely stated to a district manager that the computer switches had failed and replacements were required to maintain the district computer system. Raymer has repeatedly used his position to have the district order and pay for more than 100 computer switches that it has not used or need, from two separate vendors, at a total cost of more than $ 400,000. Another 28 computer switches were ordered and were never paid for, resulting in a loss of approximately $ 106,200 to the seller.
When Raymer received the switches, he admitted that he sold them as if they were his personal property and that he used the money for himself. Acting under his own 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 and paid for by the Blue Ridge School District. Raymer then shipped the switches to his buyers and made payments to himself or his business name.
Upon conviction, United States District Court Judge Sue E. Myerscough also ordered Raymer to pay $ 460,373.77 in restitution. Raymer must pay $ 336,276 to the school district and its insurer and $ 106,200 to a computer vendor. The judge also ordered Raymer to pay an additional $ 17,897.77 to Special Olympics Illinois for a theft at that organization, where Raymer was working after his employment in the school district. Raymer had agreed to pay restitution for this uncharged conduct as part of his plea deal.
“The Farmer City Police Department deserves praise for an exceptional investigation,” Acting US Attorney Douglas J. Quivey said. “Public corruption at any level of government simply cannot be tolerated. Our school children deserve quality technology, and prosecutions with a prison sentence that includes restitution serves to restore a necessary level of public trust and remind us all that those who choose to cheat will pay a high price. “
The charges were investigated by the Farmer City, Illinois Police Department with the full cooperation of the school district, which referred the matter to law enforcement. US Deputy Prosecutor Timothy Bass represented the government in the lawsuits.