Judge sets bond, house arrest for former Berkeley County Schools chief financial officer

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - A judge set bond Thursday on state charges for the man accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Berkeley County School District.

Brantley Thomas is facing a total of 35 charges - 15 state charges and 20 federal counts -  including fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering. He is also facing a rarely-filed charge of honest services wire fraud, which refers to the crime of depriving another of the intangible right of honest services.

Judge Jocelyn Newman set a $50,000 personal recognizance bond as well as house arrest for Thomas on the state charges.

The judge also set special conditions to protect Thomas's house, retirement accounts and his child's prepaid tuition account, which prosecutors contend was paid for with stolen money, according to South Carolina Attorney General spokesman Robert Kittle. Kittle said Thomas was also ordered to make monthly payments of $300 into a trust account, make a monthly check-in and surrender his passports.

Investigators say Thomas, the former chief financial officer for the district, stole more than $800,000.

"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," the federal indictment states.

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