Two former executives of a charter school management group face charges of embezzlement. Vielka McFarlane, the founder of the Celerity Educational Group, agreed to plead guilty one count of conspiracy to embezzle funds. She admitted that she misused about $2.5 million of public funds on personal expenses. Last month, federal authorities indicted a second executive, Grace Canada, on similar charges. One defendant also faces charges of making false statements to federal investigators.
According to the federal indictment, the women redirected funds for travel, dining, luxury purchases and shopping excursions. In addition, the pair used some funding to purchase a building in Columbus, OH. McFarlane and Canada both stepped down from their positions in 2017, amid allegations of wrongdoing.
In 2018, the company closed one of its seven Los Angeles area charter schools. At the time, the company said it was struggling to attract students to its northeast Los Angeles campus. The State Board of Education also withdrew its approval for two of the company’s other schools. Those schools reopened under different names and different management. McFarlane faces as much as five years in prison at sentencing.
Los Angeles embezzlement attorney
When you face charges for financial crimes against your employer, hire an experienced embezzlement attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California. He also takes federal criminal defense cases in any federal circuit in the US.
Schemes to embezzle funds often operate over a period of years. When they’re discovered, they often involve exceptionally large dollar amounts. In addition to facing grand theft charges, schemes to embezzle funds can also lead to tax fraud charges. If multiple individuals play a role in the plan, prosecutors can also seek conspiracy charges.
That’s why you need an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney on your team. Mr. Helfend does not judge clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he simply works hard to get the charges against them reduced or dropped.
Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney when your freedom is on the line.
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: Innovation School, via Flickr.com