Monday, May 27, 2024

Business manager embezzled Trinidad ISD funds for Disney spree

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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – An Orange man has pleaded guilty to stealing money from the Trinidad Independent School District.

On Wednesday, Brandon Delane Looney, 38, pleaded guilty to theft from a program receiving federal funds while serving as business manager for Trinidad ISD.

Federal law makes it a crime for someone to steal from an organization receiving more than $10,000 in federal funds annually. According to court documents, Looney embezzled more than $300,000 between 2017 and 2023 while working for Trinidad ISD in Henderson County. Looney used the funds for trips to Walt Disney World and spending sprees at The Disney Store.

Looney faces up to 10 years in federal prison, a potential fine, and mandatory restitution to Trinidad ISD for the funds he stole. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

Before pleading guilty, Looney worked with the Financial Litigation Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to liquidate his assets and preserve them for the restitution he will be ordered to pay Trinidad ISD upon sentencing. With the government’s oversight and approval, Looney sold his house in Vidor and other assets to preserve over $200,000 for Trinidad ISD. The full restitution judgment will be collectible for 20 years after the termination of Looney’s incarceration.

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