Oklahoma: EPIC Charter Founders Arrested and Charged with Financial Crimes

Lisa R. Parker

The on line constitution sector not only has abysmal academic documents, but it is ripe pickings for scammers. The founders of Epic charter colleges in Oklahoma are charged with various counts of embezzlement, racketeering and other crimes.

Oklahoma View reports:

Epic Constitution Schools’ founders, who ended up arrested Thursday, shifted hundreds of thousands of university dollars to firm credit history cards, which have been applied to make political campaign donations, fund a lobbyist and pay personal charges like vacations, the Oklahoma Condition Bureau of Investigation alleges in court docket documents.

Adhering to a yearslong investigation into alleged embezzlement of taxpayer resources, the co-founders of the state’s major on the web university had been arrested Thursday, along with the longtime main economic officer, courtroom documents exhibit.

David Chaney, 43, Ben Harris, 46, and Josh Brock, 40, have been booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center Thursday morning. Each and every is billed with racketeering, embezzlement, acquiring dollars by phony pretense, conspiracy to dedicate a felony, violating the Oklahoma Computer system Crimes Act, publishing false documents to the point out and illegal proceeds.

Investigators claimed the adult males ran a complex legal business working with the online constitution university and a for-financial gain company, Epic Youth Solutions.

The plan has price the point out additional than $22 million, according to the OSBI.

The costs include co-mingling of cash, excessive and needless management charges, use of Oklahoma tax bucks in California, political influence, concealment of profits, submission of false invoices and the illegal use of personnel.

A person of the school’s major recruitment applications, the mastering fund, was applied to conceal unlawful purchases, brokers alleged. For the finding out fund, Epic tends to make at the very least $1,000 available to each and every college student per year in a virtual account. Parents can allocate those bucks for curriculum, laptops and extracurricular things to do.

Mothers and fathers don’t obtain the cash specifically. Instead, they request a acquire from Epic and the school transfers the funds to Epic Youth Expert services, which pays the vendor.

Chaney and Harris used a separate financial institution account to make studying fund buys, and investigators found Chaney and Harris did not return unused mastering fund dollars.

The account received practically $145 million in between 2015 and 2021. Extra than 50 instances, Chaney, Harris and Brock transferred public resources from the understanding fund account to the non-public financial institution account for Epic Youth Solutions, which was then employed to shell out a lobbying organization. Capital Gains, a lobbying company operate by Robert Stem, a longtime pal of Harris’, was compensated extra than $500,000.

Please open the url to read through the relaxation of the tale. Campaign contributions go a extensive way toward avoiding accountability.

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