Former Plano ISD security manager pleads guilty to stealing millions

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by BYRON HARRIS

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WFAA

Posted on April 1, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 1 at 5:53 PM

PLANO — A former security manager for the Plano Independent School District pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to embezzling money from the district during a five-year period.

Kris Gentz is accused of stealing an estimated $2.5 million from the district. An audit of the district allegedly revealed Gentz stole the money by filing false invoices with the district for work that was never done. On November 15, 2013, administrators reported the findings to Plano police.

"The Plano Police Department and FBI released on Tuesday, April 1, that a district employee worked in collusion with an outside vendor to create false invoicing in regard to repairs for fire and security systems," read a statement from the district. "The most important assurance to you is that the investigation confirmed that the district's safety and security systems were in no way compromised and the charges regarding fraud were restricted to invoicing."

Gentz signed a plea deal agreement Tuesday.

Authorities said the amount embezzled could be as high as $7 million based on a larger length of time than the five years.

Gentz was known in the Shreveport casinos as a "whale," because he lost so much money. But the 59-year-old Plano ISD employee made just $71,000 in his school district job.

Beginning nearly 10 years ago, he began writing contracts to two paper companies he created with two accomplices. In essence, they billed the district and mailed themselves the money, which was split equally.

One of those accomplices is now dead; another has not yet been arrested.

Records show Gentz declared bancruptcy in 2003, shortly before he started stealing from the school district.

While his home in Richardson is studded with security cameras, few of the devices ended up on Plano ISD buildings -- mostly because Gentz, a former Frisco police officer, had the total trust of the people he worked for.

"This cuts to the very heart of public service," said U.S. Attorney Malcolm Bales. "He's betrayed the legacy of how many great people that have worked for Frisco Police Department and for law enforcement all over North Texas."

Gentz has pleaded guilty; he could face up to five years in prison.

Plano ISD Superintendent Richard Matkin said the district will be hiring an internal auditor along with making other changes.

E-mail bharris@wfaa.com

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