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Former Athens City Schools superintendent pleads guilty to conspiracy charge

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 3:41 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2021 at 2:27 PM CST
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ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - Former Athens superintendent, William Lee “Trey” Holladay has entered a guilty plea for a conspiracy charge. Details on the plea agreement were released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montgomery on Thursday.

Holladay is accused of purposely scheming private school students and their parents out of millions of dollars for his personal gain. He is one of six state educators accused of enrolling those private school students into their virtual classes to get their tax dollars.

Holladay left the school district months after the FBI started investigating him in 2020.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on December 16, Holladay admitted that he and co-defendant Thomas Michael Sisk conspired to inflate the number of students enrolled at Athens City Schools and Limestone County Schools. Now a resident of Montgomery, Holladay pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the Alabama State Department of Education. As part of the plea agreement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will move to dismiss other charges against Holladay.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office made a motion to dismiss all pending charges against his wife on December 16 as well. The federal indictment claims that Holladay and his wife were the masterminds behind this plan.

The indictment states the purpose of the conspiracy was to obtain greater state funding allocations through the Foundation Program than they would otherwise have been entitled to Athens City Schools would then use, directly and indirectly, portions of the excess money to fund the completion of capital projects, including, the new campus of Athens High School.

WAFF 48 reached out to Athens City Schools for a comment regarding this case.

Additionally, Athens City Schools filed a motion for a protective order of education records in November. A federal judge granted the motion on Dec. 7. According to court documents, education records will not be disclosed to the public, however, they will only be shared with those involved in this case.

A sentencing date has not been set for Holladay. He faces a maximum prison sentence of five years along with substantial monetary penalties. The agreement states Holladay will face a minimum sentence of no fewer than 30 months in prison.

Co-defendants Gregory Earl Corkren, David Webb Tutt, and Thomas Michael Sisk, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government.

Co-defendant William Richard Carter, Jr. is currently set for trial on February 7, 2022.

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