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Former Carrollton Schools Officials Plead Guilty in Scheme to Sell Air Purifiers to the District through Shell Companies
For Immediate Release
COLUMBUS – Three former Carrollton Exempted Village Schools officials have admitted their roles in a scheme to sell air purifiers to the district using two shell companies, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced.
Former Superintendent David Quattrochi, former school board member Michael Pozderac, and former teacher Mary “Jackie” Pozderac, pleaded guilty Thursday in Carroll County Common Pleas Court. Charges remain against a fourth individual, Gus Nickolas, who has a pre-trial hearing scheduled in July.
All four were indicted in December 2022 on multiple felony charges. As part of a plea agreement:
- Quattrochi pleaded guilty to a single count of theft in office, a fourth-degree felony.
- Michael Pozderac pleaded guilty to a single count of theft in office, a third-degree felony.
- Mary “Jackie” Pozderac pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of having an unlawful interest in a public contract.
The Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the law enforcement division of the office, began investigating after learning that a vendor’s fax number listed on a purchase order was the same as a golf course owned by Michael Pozderac.
SIU determined the Pozderacs, Quattrochi and Nickolas used two shell companies, The Phoenix Rising and Pozitively Quality Air, to sell air purifiers totaling $70,450 to the school district. The four then divided the resulting profits among themselves while attempting to hide their involvement from the district.
Due to a potential conflict of interest, the Carroll County Prosecutor’s Office appointed SIU attorneys to serve as special prosecutors in the case.
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 111 convictions resulting in more than $5.8 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.