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Final Finding for Recovery of $14,822, Repaid Under Court Order, Issued Against Former Pickerington Robotics Club Adviser
For Immediate Release
COLUMBUS – A finding for recovery of $14,822 was issued Tuesday against a former teacher in the Pickerington Local School District, who was convicted of pocketing funds meant to be used for a student robotics club.
Levon Thomas pleaded guilty in August 2022 to a felony count of theft and has already made full restitution. Though repaid, Tuesday’s finding is included in the audit of Pickerington schools’ financial activities from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022.
A copy of the full report is available online at https://ohioauditor.gov/auditsearch/search.aspx.
Thomas was a teacher in Pickerington schools’ industrial technology program and served as an adviser for the student robotics club. From November 18, 2016, through February 2, 2022, he deposited 30 checks totaling $14,822 that were meant to support the club into his personal bank account.
Thomas resigned from his position following a disciplinary hearing over the matter. In addition to restitution, his sentence in Fairfield County Common Pleas Court included a 30-day suspended jail sentence, five years of community control and 10 days of community service.
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 103 convictions resulting in more than $5 million in restitution (see?Map of SIU Convictions?since January 2019). The team receives hundreds of tips of suspected fraud annually. Tips can be submitted anonymously online or via SIU’s fraud hotline at 866-FRAUD-OH (866-372-8364).
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Keith Faber, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies, and promotes transparency in government.
Contact: Marc Kovac