[Multiple videos and expanded photos below.] FBI agents are canvassing the Monsey, NY, and Kiryas Yoel, NY, communities today in a bid to seize records for materials and equipment purchased for local schools with federal education technology dollars.
The raid, which has brought FBI agents to Ponoma, Airmont and Spring Valley as well, is related to an investigation of how local schools participated in the E-Rate program, or the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The Schools and Libraries program, founded in 1998, makes telecommunications and information services more affordable for schools and libraries. Mandated by Congress in 1996 and implemented by the Federal Communications Commission in 1997, the E-rate program provides discounted telecommunications, internet access, and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries, funded by the Universal Service Fund.
The FBI is working locally with the Rockland District Attorney and others.
Today’s raid is taking place at the same time that prosecutors on the state and federal levels are investigating local governmental corruption, though today’s activity may be unrelated.
Investigators have been examining whether E-Rate dollars going to local schools were not being used for the proper programs, but were being misappropriated.
Neither the FBI nor local officials are commenting on today’s raid or the current investigation.