The Washington Post.The scheme allegedly took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, when schools were closed for over a year and were struggling to connect students to virtual learning platforms.
Prosecutors claim Ward took advantage of the situation to put in orders for technology that never materialized, instead using the money to purchase a $169,000 property in West Virginia, at least nine vehicles — including two Teslas worth $218,000 and a Ford F-450 worth $120,000 — and assorted art and sports memorabilia.
Ward later took a leave of absence in July 2021, two months after being elected Hyattsville’s mayor. According to prosecutors, KIPP DC paid companies Tenret Tech and Vast Systems for technology services and thousands of devices — including 1,000 Android tablets, 150 MacBook Air laptops, and 3,400 Acer Chromebooks — between April 3, 2020 and Oct.
27, 2021. When the devices were never delivered, the school system distributed devices that had been purchased from other vendors to assist students in learning from home, a KIPP DC spokesperson said.Tenret Tech was a Maryland corporation registered in April 2020, according to court records.