A Los Angeles book buyer and seller who operated “Doorkeeper Textz” in Long Beach pleaded no contest Tuesday to charges stemming from a massive scheme he orchestrated to steal thousands of new and used textbooks from four different school districts, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Corey Frederick, 44, pleaded no contest to four felony counts of embezzlement and one felony count of bribing a public officer. He was sentenced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Perry to five years, eight months in state prison. He has been ordered to pay $793,306 in restitution to the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Deputy District Attorney Kennes Ma with the Public Integrity Division prosecuted the case and found that over a two-year period beginning in May 2008, Frederick paid out more than $200,000 in bribes to a dozen school employees in Los Angeles, Inglewood, Lynwood and Bellflower school districts.
Frederick paid school employees anywhere from $600 to $47,000 per person to steal new and used textbooks in literature and language arts, economics, physics, anatomy and physiology, according to the release. The DA said the stolen textbooks were resold to various distributors, such as Amazon, Seattle-based Bookbyte and Follett Educational Services in Illinois.
According to the DA, prosecutors said that some books were even resold to the districts they were stolen from.
About 7,000 books were stolen from LAUSD, however, because the districts lacked any organized tracking system, prosecutors said they did not have the total number stolen.
A 37-count Grand Jury indictment was returned in August 2013 charging Frederick and 12 co-defendants with multiple counts of embezzlement and bribery, according to the release.
Jane Robison, assistant chief of the Media Relations Division at the DA said all participants have been convicted and sentenced except for Shari Stewart, 46, a librarian in the Inglewood Unified School District. Stewart's next court date will take place on May 28 for a pretrial conference.
The case was investigated by the District Attorney's Bureau of Investigation.
In a statement from the September 2013 indictment announcement, District Attorney Jackie Lacey said, “Taking books out of the hands of public school students is intolerable – especially when school employees sell them for their own personal profit.”
She went on to commend the Public Integrity Division prosecutors and investigators for “untangling this complicated web of deceit at our children’s expense.”