Earlier this year, a U.S. District Judge sentenced a Jasper native who stole more than $600,000 from Grand Prairie ISD to three years and a month in a federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle handed down the sentence on March 1. In the federal sentencing document, the court recommended that the Bureau of Prisons allow Carolyn Perkins Foster, 63, to serve her time at FPC Bryan in Bryan.
"We are thrilled that Carolyn Foster was given the maximum sentence," Dr. Susan Hill, the superintendent of Grand Prairie ISD, said in a statement. "I am so proud of the entire business office staff not only for reporting discrepancies which led to the arrest and conviction, but for working with law enforcement for an entire year in complete confidentiality and, most of all, for sustaining and supporting each other in a most professional and professional way after being betrayed by Foster."
In the statement, Hill expressed gratitude for the tenacity displayed by Grand Prairie law enforcement in investigating the case. She also thanked the GPISD Board of Trustees for helping her re-build the community's trust of the school district.
Perkins was ordered to surrender herself to authorities on April 4.
After Perkins is released from federal prison, she will be required to serve two years of supervised release. Perkins will be required to adhere to standard conditions while she is on supervised release.
As part of the special conditions of her supervised release, Perkins will be required to pay full restitution to Grand Prairie ISD in the amount of $633,302.60. In addition, she will be required to pay at least 50 percent of any proceeds from gifts, tax returns, inheritances, bonuses, lawsuit awards, and any other receipt of money toward paying the school district back.
Perkins is prohibited from opening any new lines of credit without permission from her probation officer, the sentencing document stated. She is also forbidden from being employed by or affiliated with any position that would allow her access to credit, banking, or personal financial information of others.
A federal grand jury indicted Perkins on a felony federal program theft charge in August of 2016, and she was found guilty of the crime in April of 2017. The indictment says that she stole more than $600,000 from Grand Prairie ISD, which receives more than $10,000 a year from the U.S. Department of Education.
According to the statement from Grand Prairie ISD, Perkins served as the school district's chief financial officer. She was asked to resign from Grand Prairie ISD in August of 2015.
"The day after she left the district, two brave members of her staff reported strange cash withdrawals by Foster that had not been properly accounted for," the Grad Prairie ISD statement said. "District officials immediately reported the discovery to the Grand Prairie Police Department, resulting in her eventual arrest, guilty plea - and now sentencing."
KJAS.com reported that Perkins was the finance director for Jasper ISD for 19 years before she started working for Grand Prairie ISD.