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Judge dismisses 7th federal charge against former Athens High principal

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Rick Carter

Rick Carter

A former Athens High School principal accused of participating in a multiyear scheme to fraudulently boost enrollment figures to obtain additional funds from the state has had a seventh charge against him dropped, records show.

A judge on Wednesday dismissed a count of aggravated identity theft against Rick Carter, one of six people indicted in the scheme. The same judge previously granted a motion to dismiss six counts of wire fraud.

Those charges stem from Meadowview Christian School students and one Pickens Academy student whose information was allegedly used in the scheme.

Carter remains charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, 80 counts of wire fraud and 33 counts of aggravated identity theft. If convicted, he faces decades in prison.

He also remains the only person still set to be tried in the case. Five others were named in the initial indictment, four of whom have since taken plea deals while the fifth had charges dismissed through one of the plea deals.

Carter is accused of accepting money obtained through the scheme, filing falsified records or illegally obtained information and ordering another participant to create fake report cards and records for the students.

A pretrial conference has been set for Thursday, Jan. 20, with the trial due to begin Feb. 7. Sentencing for the four participants who pleaded guilty — former Athens superintendent Trey Holladay, former Limestone County superintendent Tom Sisk, retired educator Gregory Earl Corkren and former Marengo Academy football coach David Webb Tutt — is set for March.

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