Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2 sentenced to restitution in North Pike School District auto parts embezzlement case

Two men have pleaded guilty and been sentenced as part of an embezzlement scheme in the North Pike School District, State Auditor Stacey Pickering announced today.

Jimmy Coker, 67, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement and was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $3,000 and restitution totaling $33,739.

The full amount of Coker's restitution was collected on April 16, Pickering said, and it will be returned to the school district. He has also been placed on non-adjudicated probation for a period of 48 months under the supervision of the Department of Corrections.

Howard Cooper, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit embezzlement and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $7,619.

As the director of transportation for the school district, Coker collaborated with Cooper, an employee of a local auto parts store, to bill the district for personal items, Pickering said in a news release.

"These individuals worked together to steal from the North Pike School District, and they are being held accountable for their actions," Pickering said. "This investigation was a collaborative effort between the State Auditor's Office, District Attorney Dee Bates and the North Pike School District."

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