Lee County teacher arrested for money laundering in connection to Port Authority racketeering scheme

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Jeffrey Cooper Gray (LCSO)

An Island Coast High School teacher has been arrested for money laundering in connection to a janitorial contracting scheme that defrauded Lee County Port Authority out of more than $700,000, according to FDLE.

Jeffrey Cooper Gray, of Cape Coral, 55, faces charges of fraud- money laundering transaction of over $300, less than $20,000 on two counts.

Gray served as the LCPA Contracts Director and had oversight of all contracts at the LCPA, including Triangle’s contract. In his capacity as the contracts director, Gray managed the day-to-day terms of the contract, including the approval of payroll reimbursements, equipment purchases, contract renewal negotiations and, at times, contractor discipline.

Gray was responsible for scrutinizing Triangle’s payroll invoices for accuracy and completeness. He also managed the site manager, Thomas Brennan.

It is alleged that Brennan, Gray and his son, Austin Gray, were involved in time sheet fraud and that Gray and Brennan had a close relationship and both knew about the fraud.

FDLE agents located Gray at his place of work on Thursday where he was arrested and taken into custody without incident.

He bonded out of jail later that night at $5,000 for each charge.

The School District of Lee County, in a statement, said Gray was fired after his arrest.

The District’s statement: “Jeffrey Gray was hired August 5, 2019 as a teacher at Island Coast High School. He was immediately released from his probationary contract upon his arrest February 13, 2020.”

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