Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) must pay the federal government $1 million after forging signatures on a U.S. Department of Education grant application more than a decade ago, the Washington Examiner reports.

The newspaper reports that the district got a $2.7 million federal grant to fund a program to help at-risk students prepare for college, but a school employee forged signatures on the 2000 application and lied about getting additional private-sector matching funds for the program.

The U.S. Department of Justice had sought a larger fine but eventually settled with the school district, located in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., after eight years of discussion.

The accused employee reportedly left the district in 2003. The forgery was initially identified by the district's own internal audit and reported to the U.S. Department of Education in 2004.

The school system has since put grants under the central office's oversight and increased employee training, according to an FCPS spokesperson.