Saturday, January 18, 2014

FCPS employee resigns amid embezzlement charges

An Alexandria man who resigned from Fairfax County Public Schools on Friday was arrested Monday and charged with taking school computers and selling them.

Fairfax County Police say Craig Soderberg, 60, of Lady Anne Court in Alexandria, was charged Monday with two counts of embezzlement after a three-month investigation revealed that he was allegedly taking used laptop computers from a warehouse where older FCPS equipment was stored, refurbishing them, and then selling them online.

Police said they removed more than 1,200 computers from Soderberg’s home after a search on Jan. 9.

Soderberg had worked for FCPS for nearly 16 years. The school system hired him as a buyer technician in 1998 before promoting him to manager of a Springfield warehouse located at 6800 Industrial Road, according to FCPS spokesman John Torre.

Soderberg was placed on administrative leave on Jan. 9 and resigned Jan. 10, three days prior to his arrest, Torre said. Police said they began an investigation in October after receiving a request from the FCPS Internal Investigations Section concerning the allegation. According to Torre, the internal FCPS investigation began in June.

Soderberg’s arrest comes two months after two other FCPS employees were also charged with embezzlement.

In November, a prominent middle school principal, her son, and her former finance aide were all charged in an another alleged embezzlement scheme that police said could go back three years and potentially bilked the school system out of more than $100,000. That case is scheduled to be heard in Fairfax County District Court in February.

“The timing probably is coincidental,” said FCPS Superintendent Karen Garza. “On the other hand, it is so unfortunate when we’re able to identify situations like these.”

Soderberg is currently scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 7 in Fairfax County General District Court. No attorney information is yet listed for him in court records

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