Dec 04, 2019 5:55 PM

Kansas City schools owe $200K for falsified attendance

Posted Dec 04, 2019 5:55 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) —The Kansas City school district owes the state $192,730 for falsifying its attendance data for three years in a bid to regain full accreditation.


The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education confirmed the amount owed on Tuesday.


The district said last month that seven officials were involved in falsifying the data from 2013 to 2016 under former Superintendent Steve Green ’s leadership. Green has denied knowing that employees were tinkering with student attendance records under his watch.

The manipulation led the state to overpay the district because it funds schools in part based on student attendance.


Attendance is among the criteria the state uses in giving out performance scores that determine whether a district meets full accreditation.


The Kansas City district was unaccredited from 2012 to 2014, when it gained partial accreditation. Although it continued to receive extra monitoring, it avoided being subjected to a law that allows students to transfer from unaccredited to accredited districts, with the unaccredited districts picking up the tab.


School officials said the district intends to submit the repayment within the next two weeks.

Considering the district’s annual operating budget is more than $257 million, the amount owed is “not catastrophic,” district spokesman Ray Weikal said.

     

Continue Reading St Joseph Post
Dec 04, 2019 5:55 PM
Cattlemen paid in full in Plainville Livestock case; bank ordered to pay $1.3M

By CRISTINA JANNEY

Hays Post


PLAINVILLE — After waiting 10 months for payment, the ranchers who sold cattle through the Plainville Livestock Commission are finally receiving payment.


A settlement agreement was filed in federal court on Nov. 11.


The court ordered the cattlemen to receive their full claim amounts less the payments the producers have already received through bond payments made by Hartford Insurance. Hartford will also receive a portion of the settlement for the payments it paid on the bond.


Only one cattlemen is yet to be paid, Jerry Roy. A hearing is to be set in that case for the amount of $26,000.


Derek Stockman, a rancher, said he had to restructure his loans as he waited for payment in the case and lost about $2,000 in interest as his payment from the Feb. 5 auction was being held by the courts.


"It added a lot of financial stress ... and tension with the bankers and stuff like that," he said. "I didn’t expect that we would get it all."


Stockman said he received his final check on the sale Friday.


The Almena State Bank held the custodial account for the Plainville Livestock Commission. Tyler Gillum, a cattle market agent, allegedly tried to move money from the custodial account, which is by law established to hold sellers funds for the cattle, to the company's general operating account at the bank.


At that time, the Almena Bank froze the account and filed an interpleader case to determine whom the money in the custodial account belonged.


The court had been holding $916,652 from the custodial account as it determined who was owed money from the Livestock Commission's sale on Feb. 5.


During the investigation into the interpleader case, the court determined Almena Bank was holding an additional $1.3 million that was owed to cattlemen and other parties to the sale.


Stockman said he was looking forward to paying loans at the bank and getting his operation back to normal. However, he holds both the Gillums and Almena State Bank both responsible for the hardship that the case caused him and other ranchers.


"All I have to say is the people who are are responsible need to held accountable," he said. "They need to pay. ... Justice needs to be served. They need to make an example of them that makes a statement."


Stockman said he intends to be much more careful about where he takes his cattle for sale in the future.


Neither Plainville Livestock Commission nor Almena State Bank admitted to wrongdoing in the settlement.


Tyler Gillum, 47, and his wife, Camden Gillum, 50, were charged in May in federal court with carrying out a check-kiting scheme that cost banks millions of dollars.


The couple is charged with 31 counts of bank fraud, one count of making a false statement to the Small Business Administration in an application for a $1.5 million loan, and one count of making a false statement to Almena State Bank in an application for a $500,000 line of credit.


The indictment alleges investigators examined unfunded checks and wire transfers totaling more $2 billion sent by Tyler Gillum as part of the scheme. The criminal case is still making its way through the court system.


Almena State Bank stipulated to a consent order with the FDIC in March to correct what court records called “unsafe and unsound banking practices and violations of laws and regulations.”


Plainville Livestock Commission also filed for bankruptcy, and its equipment was sold at auction in June. The commission's real property was sold to Flatland Holding LLC for $850,000.


According to bankruptcy court documents, Plainville Livestock Commission debt was listed at almost $14.5 million. Almena Bank was listed as being owed $3.49 million in secured debt. Landmark Bank of Manhattan is listed as an unsecured creditor with the commission owing $8 million.


The bankruptcy case is still making its way through the court system.


Hays Post attempted to contact an attorney for Gillum; attorneys for Almena State Bank; the attorney for Hartford Fire Insurance; Michael Morris, attorney for the cattle sellers; and the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Kansas, but had not received return calls as of the time this story was published.