Authorities in Los Angeles arrested a woman and her son who formerly ran a now-closed South Los Angeles charter school. She faces charges including embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds, false accounting and money laundering. Prosecutors say that the woman redirected more than $200,000 from the school to an account for a phony business that she also controlled.
The woman founded the school near Watts in 2006. Prosecutors allege that the woman siphoned off the money between January and March 2014. An audit conducted the same year revealed glaring financial irregularities, and including more than $2.6M in payments to the founder, her family and friends. The founder herself also improperly received building lease payments, payouts for supplies, a severance package, vacation benefits and vehicle leases.
Investigators say that the woman’s son approved several fake invoices from the woman’s sham company. After transferring the money from the school to a business account, she transferred the money again to her personal account.
The school operated as part of the Los Angeles Unified School District from 2006 to 2011, when the LAUSD threatened to cut ties with it, saying that the school failed to meet the provisions of California’s Education Code. The LAUSD also indicated that the school operation was hampered by conflicts of interest.
To correct the issues, the founder agreed to step down, but turned control of the school over to relatives and friends. While on paper, the arrangement satisfied the LAUSD’s concerns, the move enabled the founder to retain substantial control over the school’s financial operations.
Los Angeles Embezzlement Attorney
If you’ve been accused of embezzlement, you need the assistance of an experienced embezzlement attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced law in Los Angeles County for more than 30 years, and takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County embezzlement case.
Photo Credit: Charlie Kaijo, via Flickr.com