Former Alabama school superintendent pleaded guilty, pocketed cash from department of education in identity fraud case

Southeast Region

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WRBL) – One Montgomery resident and former school superintendent has pleaded guilty to sharing false data with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) in order to receive additional funding.

William L. Holladay, III, 57, pleaded guilty Dec. 16 to his part in a scheme that conspired with others to defraud the ALSDE by providing falsified records.

According to court documents, Holladay turned in incorrect data to ALSDE inflating the number of students that are enrolled in public virtual schools.

The students’ identities were falsified to appear as though they were attending online public school, when in reality they were actually attending private schools in varying parts of the state.

The students’ identities that were stolen continued to attend private schools, participate in private school athletics, and parents paid tuition to the private schools.

Holladay was the superintendent of Athens, Alabama City Schools System up until October 2020. He conspired several co-defendants including one superintendent of neighboring school system, Limestone County Schools system, Thomas Michael Sisk.

Other co-defendants include William Richard Carter, Jr., Gregory Earl Corkren, and David Webb Tutt.

Co-defendants agreed to falsify their records and increase the number of students enrolled in the school system to obtain additional funding and payments from Alabama’s Education Trust Fund. The money would be taken for personal use.

Holladay and co-defendants bartered with the private schools in order to obtain students information to file with ALSDE.

Some of the promised items included:

  • laptop computers
  • access to online curriculum
  • standardized testing
  • monetary payments

Holladay is waiting to be sentenced, he is expected to face a maximum five-year sentence paired with monetary penalties.

Co-defendant William Richard Carter, Jr. has a trial date of Feb. 7, 2022.

Other co-defendants Gregory Earl Corkren, David Webb Tutt, and Thomas Michael Sisk, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government. In addition, co-defendant Gregory Corken pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan S. Ross, Alice S. LaCour, and Brett J. Talley are prosecuting the case.

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