Schoolhouse Beat

2 expected to plead guilty to athletic gear fraud scheme that cheated schools

Two former executives at an athletic equipment company have decided to forgo trial and are expected to plead guilty to a scheme that defrauded schools and colleges in 12 states through the sale and reconditioning of football helmets and other sports gear. says Mitchell Kurlander, the former chief financial officer of Circle System Group Inc.; and his father-in-law, Alan Abeshaus, a former chief executive officer, are to appear in federal court in Newark, N.J. They were indicted two years ago on charges that they engaged in fraudulent business practices from 1997 to 2007 that bilked more than $1 million from middle schools and high schools, colleges and youth athletic programs, mostly in New Jersey.

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