Midland College Employee Behind Bars for Stealing $36,000 from T - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Midland College Employee Behind Bars for Stealing $36,000 from Truck Driving Students

Julia Deng

NewsWest 9

 MIDLAND - A Midland College employee will spend one year and one day in federal prison for scamming the school and their students.

Michael Daniel Sanchez, the former Midland College Transportation Director, was sentenced Wednesday for wire fraud, after stealing more than $36,000 in tuition money from at least nine students.

In addition to his federal prison sentence, Sanchez will be placed on supervised release for three years and obligated to pay $32,800 in restitution to Midland College.

According to indictment papers obtained by NewsWest 9, Sanchez collected payments directly from students, instead of referring them to the cashier's window, and pocketed the money without enrolling them in any courses.

The grand jury indict states, "In an effort to conceal the fraud, Sanchez, in some instances, would tell the student he/she was registered as a student, but would never formally enroll the student. Consequently, Midland College was not aware of the student who had not officially paid."

Court documents reveal Sanchez also gave out fake tuition payment receipts and phony graduation certificates.

"It was found out through our business office," said Rebecca Bell, a Midland College spokesperson.

"As soon as we found out that he had embezzled funds, we reported it to law enforcement and terminated his employment. The students that Mr. Sanchez took advantage of are all set to be re-trained at no cost."

According to college officials, all nine students were informed of the fraud and reimbursed.

The program they had attempted to enroll in is a four-week training session designed to prepare students for Commercial Driver's License tests. Texas drivers applying for a CDL are required to pass a written test and a driving test.

Midland College could not confirm if any of the nine students who were scammed by Sanchez went on to earn a CDL.

Bell said college officials have plans to make any changes to their transportation program.

"There's nothing being done any differently other than we hired an honest person."

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