Woman to be sentenced today for stealing nearly $1.3 million from Detroit Public Schools

Posted at 6:30 AM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 07:21:52-04

The woman who pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $1.3 million from the Detroit public school system is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court today.

Former school district employee, 69-year-old Carolyn Starkey-Darden, faces up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

This is a woman federal authorities say worked for the school district nearly 40 years, retired and opened multiple tutoring companies. Most would assume she wanted to help children, but last fall she pleaded guilty to stealing from them.

Carolyn Starkey Darden pleaded guilty last fall to defrauding Detroit Public Schools out of at least $1.25 million over the course of 7 years, using her tutoring companies to bill for services she never delivered, even forging documents to support the false billing.

For example, in one instance, court documents say she provided $50 worth of tutoring and charged more than $35,000. 

Starkey-Darden’s sentencing has been delayed several months, but she scheduled to be sentenced today. 

Court documents say families members helped her pull it off.

This comes in the wake of deeply rooted corruption in the Detroit Public Schools system. In a separate case last year, federal authorities ended up charging 12 DPS principals for allowing a different vendor to overcharge for supplies, in exchange for kickbacks.