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CEO of Prince George's County Schools Indicted for Corruption and Obstructing Justice: Allegedly Used Official Position to Award Contracts To Close Associates and Accepted Kickbacks

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On Tuesday, August 22, a federal grand jury indicted Andre J. Hornsby, age 52, formerly of Mitchellville, Maryland, for honest services mail and wire fraud, witness and evidence tampering and obstruction of justice arising from a scheme to cause the Prince George’s County Public Schools to award lucrative contracts to benefit close associates and himself.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, “Citizens deserve to know that government officials in Maryland will be prosecuted if they abuse their power for private financial gain.  Criminals who tamper with witnesses and obstruct federal investigations must be held accountable."

Special Agent in Charge of the Baltimore FBI Field Office, William D. Chase, stated "Mr. Hornsby exploited his position, as Chief Executive Officer of the Prince George’s County Public Schools, for his own personal financial gain which came at the expense of the children he was entrusted to serve.  We in the FBI are committed to addressing public corruption at every level, and are pleased to have been instrumental in this case."

"Crimes committed by public officials violate the public trust. Part of IRS-CI's mission is to assure honest taxpayers that EVERYONE pays their fair share" said Francis L. Turner, Special Agent In Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

According to the 16-count indictment, the Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS)  employed Hornsby as Chief Executive Officer and Secretary and Treasurer of the Board of Education for Prince George’s County (Board) beginning in June 2003. One of the 20 largest school districts in the nation in 2004, PGCPS operated with a budget of more than $1 billion.

Kickback from E-Rate Contracts

Quality Schools Consulting, Inc. (QSCi) was a corporation owned and operated by Hornsby, and provided consulting services to school systems, including assistance in preparing applications to secure funds under the federal E-Rate program. The E-Rate program provides schools and libraries with substantial discounts on telecommunications services, Internet access and internal connections. In providing these services, Hornsby was assisted by an individual who had worked for him in other school districts (Former Employee).  Erate Managers, LLC purported to be a company located in Texas that was operated by the Former Employee.

The indictment alleges that in the fall of 2003, PGCPS sought assistance with its E-Rate applications.  Hornsby directed PGCPS employees to seek proposals from outside E-Rate consulting companies by issuing a request for proposal (RFP). An RFP is a formal document published to solicit proposals from outside companies to contract with the school system. The Former Employee provided Hornsby with a draft RFP which Hornsby provided to PGCPS personnel. Using that draft RFP, PGCPS published an RFP for two weeks starting in October of 2003 to solicit bids.  The mandatory deadline for the return of bids was November 3, 2003. 

After evaluating the proposals submitted within the deadline, PGCPS recommended awarding the contract to “Company A,” which submitted a bid for $59,675.  Hornsby, however, directed PGCPS personnel not to award the contract to Company A and instead steered the contract to a company operated by the former employee. After the deadline for submitting proposals had expired, on December 8, 2003, the former empl

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