Police return $347K stolen from Spotsylvania Co. schools in scam

Spotsylvania County Public Schools in Virginia lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in a scam, but now, incredibly, more than half of the missing money has been returned.

The Free-Lance Star reported that more than $600,000 was ripped off, and the money was supposed to help pay for dazzling new blue artificial turf installed on the Courtland High School football field.

Virginia State Police said they began investigating what they call a “complex phishing scam” on Aug. 1. They worked with law enforcement in other states and tracked down deposits made at multiple banks.

On Thursday, police presented the county treasurer’s office with checks totaling just over $347,000, and more money is expected to be returned next week.

There are no charges or arrests, so far, in the case, but the investigation continues.

School officials handed the money over to an email they thought was that of the contractor that put in the blue football field, WJLA reported.

Meanwhile, state police are investigating two other scams involving Spotsylvania County employees, but there is no evidence the three scams are connected.

A posting on Courtland High School’s Twitter inviting people to sponsor the school’s athletic programs said the blue turf on the football field is trademarked, and the field is currently the only one of its kind east of the Mississippi.

In 1986, Boise State University created the first artificial turf football field in the country that wasn’t green. The Idaho school holds a federal trademark for “the color blue as applied to artificial turf.”

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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