Second Vigo County School Funds Thief Convicted

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U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler (file photo) U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler (file photo)

An accomplice in a theft of more than $110,000 from the Vigo County School Corp. has been convicted in federal court. Franklin Fennell, the district's former facilities director, will serve up to 20 years in prison for a scheme involving kick-backs on falsified work invoices.

The office of United States Attorney Josh Minkler says Fennell and former Vigo County Sheriff's Department deputy Frank Shahadey worked with a local contractor to create and submit invoices that either included inflated costs or involved work that wasn't completed or was performed by another business. The businessman would pay Fennell and Shahadey a portion of the illegally-received funds.

Shahadey was charged in October with 16 months in federal prison and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty on charges related to the theft. Sentencing for Fennell has not yet been announced.

Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Indianapolis Division W. Jay Abbott says "this conviction affirms that the FBI has zero tolerance for public corruption and considers it a top criminal priority. We are dedicated to eradicating public corruption at all levels of government and our agents will continue to work diligently to pursue those public officials whose greed erodes the confidence and trust of taxpayers."

The crimes took place between April 2014 and October 2016. Fennell lied to the FBI when confronted about the activity.

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