Jury convicts man accused in LPS security scam

LAWTON-- A Comanche County jury found James Culbertson guilty Wednesday afternoon on charges related to the Lawton Public Schools security scam.  They returned the verdict a little more than two hours after hearing closing arguments, and after two days of testimony.

Prosecutors said Culbertson turned in time sheets for security work that he never performed.

In turn, they said Culbertson would cash the paycheck he received and would give half of the money to the ringleader of the scheme, former LPS Director of Security, Mark McFarland.

Culbertson denied those claims.

He said McFarland kept track of all of his hours and if there was a problem, it was McFarland's fault.

But, the jury found Culbertson guilty on all three counts he faced; two for obtaining money under false pretenses and one for conspiracy, because of the kickback deal with McFarland.  The jury recommended one year in prison on each of the first two counts, and one year in the county jail on the conspiracy charge.  They also recommended $5,000 in fines.  The judge denied Culbertson's bond, so he'll remain jailed until his formal sentencing.