12 workers indicted in LA-area school book thefts

AP News
Posted: Sep 05, 2013 11:40 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A dozen employees from four Southern California school districts have been indicted in an alleged scheme to steal and resell thousands of textbooks, prosecutors said Thursday.

Those indicted included two librarians, a campus supervisor and a former warehouse manager from financially troubled school districts including Los Angeles Unified and nearby districts in Inglewood, Lynwood and Bellflower, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement.

"Taking books out of the hands of public school students is intolerable — especially when school employees sell them for their own personal profit," Lacey said.

All were recruited into an alleged scheme set up by 43-year-old book buyer and seller Corey Frederick, who operates Doorkeeper Textz in Long Beach.

The indictment unsealed Thursday alleges that between 2008 and 2010, Frederick paid the employees between $600 and $47,000 per person for stolen language arts, economics, physics, anatomy and physiology books stolen from schools, then resold them to Amazon and other major book buyers.

The indictment alleges that Frederick paid the employees a total of more than $200,000. Prosecutors had not established a total of books stolen, but said at least 7,000 were taken from LAUSD alone.

Some of the books were sold back to the very districts they were stolen from, prosecutors said.

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LAUSD said in a statement that district officials just learned Thursday that seven of their employees were among those indicted for acts they called "reprehensible."

"We are outraged by the alleged behavior of these employees, which is the equivalent of stealing directly from our students," the statement said. "We are taking immediate action to suspend any accused employee currently working for LAUSD."

Twelve of the 13 indicted pleaded not guilty. The status of the 13th was unclear.

Phone listings for Frederick or Doorkeeper Textz were not available.