Last in EAA corruption case has medical issues
Sentencing for the last of three suspects charged in a wide-ranging corruption investigation of the Education Achievement Authority was adjourned on Wednesday because of the defendant’s medical condition.
Glynis Thornton, whose company, Making a Difference Everyday (“M.A.D.E.”) provided after school tutoring services at Mumford and Denby high schools, appeared before U.S. District Judge David Lawson for what was to be sentencing on a felony charge of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery.
Her attorney, Gerald Evelyn, told Lawson that Thornton has significant medical problems, recently had surgery and may need another operation.
Prosecutors did not oppose Evelyn’s request for an adjournment. Lawson reset sentencing for Feb. 2.
In December, a federal grand jury in Detroit indicted Thornton along with Kenyetta Wilbourn Snapp and Paulette Horton on charges they conspired to take school funds to enrich themselves as part of a scheme involving an after-school tutoring company and laundered money in the process.
According to the grand jury indictment, Snapp, as principal as Mumford and Denby in 2012-14, selected M.A.D.E. as the after-school tutoring vendor for both high schools. In exchange, Thornton paid Snapp kickbacks as a reward for selecting and retaining M.A.D.E. as a vendor.
Thornton allegedly disguised payments to Snapp by having checks issued payable to Horton’s company, rather than paying Snapp directly. Horton would then deposit and withdraw the money and give it to Snapp, according to the indictment.
On Feb. 4, Thornton pleaded guilty to the charge and was told she faced 24 to 30 months in prison.
But after cooperating with prosecutors in their investigation into the EAA and Detroit Public Schools, the government is recommending a sentence of 15 months.
In June, Lawson sentenced Snapp to 12 months and one day in prison. Snapp took $58,000 in kickbacks in the scheme. She reported to prison earlier this month.
In June, Horton, an independent contractor working for M.A.D.E., was sentenced to 15 months in prison after she cooperated with the public corruption investigation. She has not reported to the Bureau of Prisons yet.
All three suspects must together pay $58,500 in restitution to the EAA.