Canepa, 43, of Mantua, was charged with three counts related to bribery, and one each for theft and mail fraud.
He is admitting the theft charge but pleaded not guilty when he was first charged with all five counts. He will appear Monday before U.S. District Judge John Adams.
His attorney, Mark Marein, said Canepa only committed one of the five crimes he is accused of.
Prosecutors claim Canepa embezzled proceeds from the 2008 sale of a boom lift used for construction and owned by the Maple Heights school system.
Canepa resigned from West Geauga on Aug. 23 but had been on medical leave since May. Canepa cited personal matters for his departure and thanked the school board and others for the opportunity to work in the system.
He had resigned from Maple Heights schools in 2009.