Former Tulsa Public Schools Admin Changes Plea To Guilty In Wire Fraud Case

A former Tulsa Public Schools administrator on Monday pleaded guilty to stealing more than $600,000 from the district.

Monday, October 30th 2023, 12:00 pm

By: News On 6, Amy Slanchik


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A former Tulsa Public Schools administrator on Monday pleaded guilty to stealing more than $600,000 from the district.

The court determined Devin Fletcher is not a flight risk, so he will stay out on bond until he is sentenced at a later date.

Fletcher changed his plea to guilty, saying he conspired to take money from Tulsa Public Schools and its foundation.

Court documents say the wire fraud crime was committed between August of 2018 through March of last year. Documents say Fletcher contracted his half sister's business in Texas, for consulting services for the district that never happened.

Federal prosecutors said Fletcher caused a loss of more than $600,000 for the district and foundation, by making fraudulent invoices and purchase orders.

Fletcher resigned from TPS as its Chief Learning and Talent Officer last summer.

The felony crime of wire fraud can come with a punishment of up to 20 years in prison. Fletcher's attorney says Fletcher plans to pay back what he took.

“It is our hope and we anticipate that we can get a sentence that's fair that also addresses the issue of restitution because at the end of the day this is money that Tulsa Public Schools is out, the foundation is out, and it would be my client's intention to get that money paid back,” Brett Swab said.

Tulsa Public Schools released this statement on Fletcher’s guilty plea: “Tulsa Public Schools is thankful for the excellent work of the United States Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement in seeking justice for the students and families of our district. We recognize the defendant’s admission of responsibility in today’s guilty plea and await the important sentencing phase of the matter. The financial security of the district is of the utmost importance. The success of our justice system and the additional financial safeguards put in place by the district will undoubtedly deter any future financial misdealing.”

Fletcher's attorney said Fletcher does have a job right now, but would not comment on what kind of work he's doing.

What Are the Details of the Charges?

Federal prosecutors charged a former Tulsa Public Schools administrator of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the district.

Investigators said Devin Fletcher worked with his sister to orchestrate payments for consulting services that never even happened.

Documents state for four years, Fletcher knowingly worked to commit wire fraud. Investigators said money meant for consulting services was instead wired to bank accounts linked to Fletcher and his family.

An affidavit states Fletcher wrote fake invoices, purchase orders, and other documents, robbing both TPS and the charity supporting the district of nearly $604,000. Documents state Fletcher worked with his sister to contract “Talented 10th” to provide things like talent management services, but no such services were ever performed.

Documents state Fletcher and his sister sent emails to TPS accountants to be paid for services often described as educator development, coaching, and instructional support. Again, investigators said none of those services ever happened.

Prosecutors said the money was instead wired to accounts linked to Fletcher, his sister, and his mom. Fletcher resigned from his position as the district’s Chief Learning and Talent Officer in 2022.

Around that time, TPS first reported the mismanagement of nearly $20,000. This prompted Governor Stitt and State Superintendent Ryan Walters to call for an audit of the district and the resignation of then-TPS superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist.

Walters said the criminal charge is a step in the right direction. He sent us the following statement:

This is a good step toward righting the ship at Tulsa Public Schools. TPS Must ensure there are internal financial controls in place to prevent this abuse of the public trust.

Meanwhile, Tulsa Schools calls the incident deeply troubling. It released the following statement:

Our commitment to the students, families, and community we serve remains unwavering. While this incident is deeply troubling, it does not define the hardworking and dedicated educators, staff, and administrators who make up our school district. District leadership continues to cooperate with law enforcement and the state auditor’s office to ensure that justice is served. In addition, district teams began the work of strengthening internal financial controls over a year ago and continue to build upon those improvements to safeguard our district’s finances.

If convicted, Fletcher would have to pay back anything traced to the money he is accused of embezzling.

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