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Camden woman arrested for allegedly defrauding KCSD

Posted: August 3, 2014 10:57 a.m.
Updated: August 4, 2014 5:00 a.m.
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Malinda W. Johnson

 

The Kershaw County School District (KCSD) says a woman with a special needs child defrauded the district out of approximately $151,000 during a three-year period. The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) charged Malinda Wynette Johnson, 34, with “breach/obtain signature or property under false pretenses, value $10,000 or more,” according to online court records.

The C-I learned of the case shortly after Johnson’s arrest on June 27 and has spent the last month learning more about the situation from KCSD and KCSO officials.

According to a May 21 KCSO report, KCSD officials filed a complaint that stated Johnson had a Kershaw County address on Red Hill Road near Camden and has a special needs child whose needs could not be met by the district. Therefore, the child was enrolled at A.C. Flora High School (ACFHS) in Richland School District One with Kershaw County paying Richland I for Johnson’s child’s classes.

In addition, the district paid Johnson a mileage reimbursement for driving her child to and from ACFHS.

The district filed the complaint against Johnson after learning she failed to inform KCSD officials that she had moved into Richland County sometime after May 2010. By moving, the district contends, Johnson no longer qualified for the mileage, nor should the district have had to pay Richland One for her child’s classes.

The KCSO report said the cost of the child’s classes for three years came to approximately $106,000, while the mileage figure paid to Johnson was estimated at $32,400. KCSD Director of Communications Mary Anne Byrd said the district hopes to be repaid $101,000 for the classes and $50,000 for the mileage. She said the district cannot disclose many details of the case as the investigation is ongoing. However, she said the district has been successful in recovering funds in similar cases in the past.

Johnson was released the same day as her arrest on $8,000 cash bond. The 5th District Solicitor’s Office said no court date has been set for Johnson, as it awaits the conclusion of the KCSO’s investigation.

Public court records show Johnson had a prior charge for breach of trust with fraudulent intent, $1,000 or less in 2006 that resulted in a 30-day suspended sentence and a $125 fine. She was also charged with giving false information to police or fire authorities in 2003 that resulted in another 30-day suspended sentence and a $275 fine.

According to the KCSO’s report, Johnson’s most recent address is on Coulter Pine Lane in northeast Columbia. An online school district mapping tool shows that address is located in Richland County School District Two. ACFHS, in Richland One, is approximately 15 miles away.

 

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