PHOTO: Courtland HS football field (copy)

A partial payment for a $1.2 million turf field at Courtland High was stolen electronically recently.

Virginia State Police investigators have recovered more than half of the $600,000 stolen from Spotsylvania County in a phishing scheme.

On Thursday afternoon, State Police Sgt. Brent Coffey said in a news release that they worked with local police as well as “state law enforcement in other states in order to track down the fraudulent deposits made into accounts at multiple banks. State police are still pursuing the case and several individuals associated with the scam. No charges or arrests have been made at this stage of the ongoing investigation.”

He said state police would deliver checks to the county on Thursday totaling $347,010.39. Coffee added that more of the stolen money will be handed over to the county next week.

The theft happened in July when a partial payment for a $1.2-million synthetic turf football field at Courtland High School was stolen electronically. Officials reported the theft immediately. The state police started investigating the theft on Aug. 1.

“I’m really glad to hear that,” Baron Braswell, the Spotsylvania School Board chairman, said about the discovery of the stolen money. “It’s our citizens’ money, and I want to get all of it back.”

Braswell added that “we need to make sure it doesn’t happen here again, but also other school districts.”

Coffey said the state police are also investigating “two other potential cyber phishing scams involving county employees, but there is no evidence to suggest any of the three incidents is connected. Those investigations are ongoing, as well.”

The other two thefts from the county appear to have involved gift cards and a former employee’s paycheck.

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Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

sshenk@freelancestar.com

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