The operator of a Los Angeles charter school faces embezzlement charges after allegedly defrauding the State of millions.
According to federal prosecutors, two men charged 13 schools more than $83 million in management fees. Prosecutors say that much of the money went directly into the men’s bank accounts. One of the schools, Valiant Academy of Los Angeles, is chartered by the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District in Antelope Valley. The Dehesa School district in El Cajon also charters a Valiant Academy school there. The management group, A3 Education operates virtual charter schools throughout the state.
Prosecutors say the charter school operators used the funds to purchase real estate and to fund other business ventures. According to tax returns from 2016, the operators collected more than $14M in state funds but spent slightly more than $3.5M. Only a small fraction of the more than 10,000 enrolled students actually contacted teachers or submitted any school work. Most enrollees had no contact with the schools or any teachers. Students were often recruited from summer athletic programs by coaches
The state has ordered the schools to close as of June 30. Authorities have indicted eleven people in the scam. They face charges of grand theft and illegal use of public funds. According to prosecutors, the schools inflated enrollment figures and bought report cards of students not enrolled in the schools. The tax return indicated that the two men were the company’s only employees.
Authorities believe that one of the schools’ operators has fled the country and may be in his native Australia.
Los Angeles embezzlement lawyer
When you face charges for work-related financial crimes, hire an embezzlement lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes embezzlement cases in any federal district in the United States. He also takes state cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
Your best defense is an experienced, aggressive attorney who will fight for you in court. You’re not obligated to take a plea deal, and you can prevail, even against federal prosecutors. Don’t make a determination about your best options until you’ve worked with an experienced federal defense attorney.
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.