Alabama Man Allegedly Stole $22M in Agency Computers Meant for Kids


The man took computer equipment donated by federal agencies and sold it through his store, according to the indictment.

An Alabama computer store owner was indicted last month for allegedly defrauding the government’s Computers for Learning program, an initiative in which federal agencies donate used computer equipment to schools in need.

According to the Justice Department, Steven Mays, 50, of Athens, Alabama, joined the CFL program in 2007 as a representative of Dwight Baptist Academy, a parochial school in Dwight, Illinois.

For over a decade, Mays—under several aliases—solicited and accepted computer equipment on behalf of the school. In total, that equipment originally cost the government more than $22 million. He then told school administrators that the equipment was in poor condition and needed to be repaired before it could be used.

According to the indictment, Mays accepted far more equipment than he told the school about, which he then sold in his Alabama store—Mays Computer Company—and online through eBay.

Mays faces four counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud—both of which carry statutory sentences of up to 20 years in prison—and one count of theft of government property and one count of interstate transportation of stolen property—up to 10 years each.

He will be arraigned in Peoria Federal Court on a to-be-determined date.

The case was also investigated by the inspectors general at Justice, the Transportation Department, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, Homeland Security Department, NASA and Postal Service.