DETROIT -

Sandra Campbell a former Detroit Public Schools contract accountant and School Board candidate, was sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison today by United States District Judge Julian Abele Cook on charges of program fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and tax charges, following a five-week jury trial which took place in August, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced Wednesday.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge, Erick Martinez of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation and Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin.

The 60-year old Campbell was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison on charges of program fraud against the Detroit Public Schools, money laundering and criminal tax fraud. She was also ordered to pay restitution of $530,091 to Detroit Public Schools. Co-defendant Domonique Campbell, daughter of Sandra Campbell, is set to be sentenced on January 7, 2014 at 11am.

"Those who profit at the expense of our children and steal from our community will be held accountable for their greedy actions," Martinez said.

The evidence presented at trial established that between 2004 and 2008, the two obtained at least $530,000 from Detroit Public Schools through a fraudulent scheme in which orders were placed with the Campbells’ sham company for books and educational materials never provided to the schools. The Campbells conspired to launder the fraud proceeds and to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and failed to report the money they fraudulently obtained from the Detroit Public Schools as income on their tax returns.

"This sentence sends a powerful message that fraudulently converting DPS resources for personal gain and thereby depriving students of the tools they need to prepare for educational and employment opportunities will not be tolerated." Martin said. "If you steal DPS resources, you will get caught and you will be prosecuted."