AL store owner indicted in $22 million fraud using church school

AL store owner indicted in $22 million fraud using church school

(WAFF) - An Athens man accused of selling $22 million in surplus government computers intended to be given to schools and nonprofit organizations has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Illinois.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of Illinois reported Wednesday the seven-count indictment accuses 50-year-old Steven Mays of defrauding the federal "Computers for Learning" program through his Athens business, Mays Computers and Outdoors.

The General Services Administration's CFL program transfers computers and related equipment the government doesn't need directly to schools and nonprofit organizations at no cost, according to a complaint written by U.S. Attorney John Childress and accompanying the indictment.

Mays obtained $22 million worth of computer equipment and sold it for his own benefit, Childress said. Mays registered in the name of Dwight Baptist Academy, a church school in Dwight, Illinois, and told school officials he would refurbish the equipment he obtained for them, Childress stated.

Last October, law enforcement served search warrants at the Athens business in connection with the case.

The indictment charges him with four counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud, one count of theft of government property and one count of interstate transportation of government property in connection with the theft.

Mays could not be reached for comment. An employee said he was out due to back surgery.

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