A D.C. special education analyst pleaded guilty Tuesday to plotting with others to steer more than $480,000 in tax dollars to two business owners in the District and Maryland for work that was never done in exchange for bribes.
Shauntell Harley, 48, a management analyst for fiscal policy and grant management in the office of the D.C. State Superintendent of Education, agreed to repay $488,000 to the school agency and to a $100,000 forfeiture judgment in entering her guilty plea to two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery.
The investigation is ongoing, prosecutors said.
Each of the bribery charges carries a maximum penalty of five years, but in a plea deal Harley agreed she would face a recommended prison term of between 70 and 87 months under federal guidelines at sentencing June 7 before U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss of the District.
Harley’s conviction, announced by the office of U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu of the District, is the second so far in a wider scheme whose number of participants prosecutors have not specified.
D.C. business owner Vashawn Strader in July admitted receiving insider information and more than $300,000 in payments from the D.C. agency with the help of a former employee, now identified as Harley, for tutoring and real estate services he never provided in 2012 and 2013.
Strader, 39, paid $43,900 in cash to Harley, who created false purchase orders for Strader’s companies, according to new court filings.
Harley admitted Tuesday to a similar scheme with the owner of a Prince George’s County company that provided information technology services to federal agencies and local public school students, according to court filings.
That owner and firm, identified only as Person A and Company C, in court filings, received nearly $180,000, while Harley received $53,000.
The education office has said it “cooperated fully” in the investigation and on Tuesday a spokeswoman confirmed that Harley was terminated in January 2015. Strader awaits sentencing on one count of conspiracy.
Correction: This article has been corrected to show the year in which the education office terminated Shauntell Harley.