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Prosecutors: tech employee defrauded school district, Normal-based Special Olympics

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SPRINGFIELD (WEEK) - Federal prosecutors revealed Thursday a central Illinois school district was the victim of a lucrative fraud scheme plotted by its former technology coordinator, who also may have victimized Special Olympics Illinois, based in Normal.

Joshua Raymer, 45, of Clinton, pleaded guilty Thursday to defrauding Blue Ridge Community School District 18 of about $336,000 over a two year period.

Raymer has agreed to pay all the money back to the school district, which serves students from Farmer City, Mansfield, and the McLean County Village of Bellflower.

Prosecutors did not charge Raymer with crimes related to Special Olympics, but he agreed to pay almost $18,000 restitution to the organization, in which he worked when he was no longer employed by the school district.

Court documents said that from April of 2016 to December 2018, Raymer used his position to falsely report that more than 100 computer switches needed to be released, even though they weren't needed. Another 28 switches were ordered, but never paid for, leading to a $106,000 loss to the vendor, prosecutors said.

Authorities said Raymer sold the switches and pocketed the money for himself in a business he called "The Bored Woodworker."

As part of his guilty plea, Raymer also agreed to pay restitution to the computer vendor.

Raymer faces up to 20 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled June 21.

Howard Packowitz

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