Former BCSD chief financial officer facing multiple federal counts

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Former Berkeley County School District School District chief financial officer Brantley Thomas is facing multiple federal counts, according to a signed plea agreement, including honest services wire fraud.

"This is not a charge you hear every day by a long shot," attorney John Harrell said.

The federal indictment states Thomas faces counts of fraud and embezzlement, money laundering, and honest services wire fraud which isn't as common of a charge.

"This is the biggest law that you've never heard of," Harrell said. "I think a lot of people have been charged with this and we just don't hear about it."

The law makes it a crime to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.

The federal indictment reads, "Thomas and others knowingly and willfully devised and intended to devise, and participated in, a scheme to defraud the BCSD and citizens of Berkeley County by depriving them of their intangible right to Brantley Denmark Thomas III's honest services as the Berkeley County School District Chief Financial Officer."

"In this situation, an elected official is steering contracts, school contracts, insurance contracts for your own financial benefit," said Harrell.

Harrell said the instances can be different in the private sector.

"If you're an employee and your lunch hour is one hour and you routinely stay an hour and a half, technically you fit under this law," said Harrell.

Harrell said it's a charge that will show up when they want to rope in other types behavior.

"If he's found guilty of this it will definitely stick," Harrell said."They can appeal it like they want to. But this law has been appealed a lot of time unsuccessfully for defendants."

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