The former owner of a textbook selling website and operator of a massive bribery and theft scheme has been sentenced to 5 years and 8 months in prison. Corey Frederick, 44, of Los Angeles, pleaded no contest to four counts of embezzlement and one of bribing a public official. All are felonies. The scheme involved stealing books from several Los Angeles area school districts and selling them back to the victims and to others.
The thefts occurred from 2008-2010. Frederick recruited a dozen employees of school districts in Los Angeles and nearby Lynwood, Bellflower, and Inglewood. They included librarians, office technicians, a warehouse supervisor, and a plant manager. They were paid to look the other way while textbooks were heisted from school facilities. The bribes ranged from around a thousand dollars to $47,728 for the warehouse manager. In all, around $200,000 was given to the corrupt employees.
Mr. Frederick ran an online bookselling business from Long Beach known as The DoorKeeper Textz. They offered textbooks at a discount. “If you need to trim your budget,” they advertised, “then you've come to the right place.” Naturally, you can offer discounts when your cost of goods is zero, save for a few bribes. Their customers were also their victims, in some cases books being sold back to the very schools from which they were pilfered.
The original indictments were handed down in 2013. For an account from that time, click here.
In addition to the prison time, Mr. Frederick has been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $793,306 to the Los Angeles School District.