An Annapolis man was sentenced to eight years in prison for charging Maryland schools and PTAs to bring Baltimore Ravens football players to their assemblies and then not delivering, ABC 2 News reports.
Prosecutors said Joseph Gill, 53, took nearly $14,000 from 17 schools in Anne Arundel County in 2011.
According to reports, Gill promised Ravens players would attend the schools' anti-bullying assemblies. After he cashed the checks, however, Gill said that the players couldn’t make it after all.
Severna Park Middle School paid $1,950 to Odyssey Group LLC of Annapolis to have Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb speak at its anti-bullying assemblies. Arundel Middle paid $600 and hoped to bring Webb to their school as well. Arundel High also paid $750 for an unnamed player.
"That fact that Mr. Gill is now being held accountable for his actions can be a valuable lesson for our students. Unfortunately, that is not likely to undo the lessons about disappointment he forced them to learn by depriving them of positive experiences they had eagerly anticipated," said Bob Mosier, a spokesman for Anne Arundel County Public Schools. "It is also not likely to make the schools and parent groups—which lost money to Mr. Gill’s scheme—financially whole."
According to court records, Gill admitted to running similar scams at four schools in Baltimore County, collecting $1,200 there; and he took $4,600 from five schools and PTA groups in Howard County last year.
Here's the list of Anne Arundel County Public Schools that Gill took money from:
Elementary schools: Crofton Meadows, Mayo, Rippling Woods, Central, Riviera Beach, Severn, Fort Smallwood, Richard Henry Lee and Phoenix Annapolis
Middle schools: Severna Park, Arundel, George Fox, Central, Crofton and Lindale
High school: Arundel High School