YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — A former information technology director has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison in the theft of $3.4 million from a northeast Ohio school district.
Joseph Palazzo, who worked for the Cuyahoga (KY-uh-HOH'-guh) Heights school district, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Youngstown to 11 years and four months. He pleaded guilty in May to charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.
The 31-year-old Palazzo apologized in court for what he called a "total lapse in judgment."
A prosecutor said Tuesday that Palazzo and others in the conspiracy set up shell corporations and used fake invoices to make it appear the district was buying technology hardware, software and services from them.
The district is pursuing civil lawsuits to help recover the money.