U.S. Attorney Hickton Continues Focus on Education Funds Fraud

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Following the beginning of a new school year, U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton focused public attention on the office’s School Corruption Hotline, 412-894-7515.

The hotline number rings directly in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where callers may leave their name, contact information, and details regarding suspected misuse of tax dollars supporting education.

“The advent of a new school year provides the opportunity to remind citizens that they are a vital resource in helping us identify fraud and illegal activity within the school system,” said U.S. Attorney Hickton. “We need the public to continue to provide information regarding suspected abuses, including misuse of district education funds, theft, spending irregularities, corruption in the contract and bidding process, and bribery, kickbacks, or other forms of collusion with outside vendors.”

U.S. Attorney Hickton encouraged callers to be as specific as possible when leaving information so that the appropriate investigating agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Department of Education-Office or Inspector General, or others, is able to pursue leads.

U.S. Attorney Hickton activated the first-of-its-kind hotline in November 2011. Dozens of callers have provided information resulting in several open and ongoing investigations.

The Western District of Pennsylvania encompasses 25 counties in the westernmost part of the Commonwealth: Allegheny. Armstrong, Beaver, Butle, Clarion, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland in the Greater Pittsburgh area; Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, McKean, Venango, and Warren in the Erie area; and Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, and Somerset in the Johnstown area.

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