August 2017
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08:48:09 am

Why Charter Schools Need Better Oversight

We cannot conduct even limited financial audits of the parent organization, according to a district spokesperson quoted in the report. And where is the state? Noted reporter Daniel Denvir in the Philadelphia CityPaper: The state Auditor General, which has seen its staff reduced by 24 percent in recent years, doesnt have the capacity to audit all the new charter schools that have opened in the past five years. Only three Philadelphia charter schools have been audited since 2008.
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Feds: PA Cyber Charter School founder Trombetta schemed to steal $1 million

A graphic is displayed at a news conference on the Nicholas Trombetta indictment Friday at FBI South Side headquarters. In the background: U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton (center), FBI Special Agent in Charge Gary Douglas Perdue (left) and Special Agent in Charge Steven Anderson.

Trombetta, the grand jury said, used diverted funds to pay for houses, a Florida condominium and a $300,000 twin-engine plane as well as more mundane items such as groceries and restaurant tabs. The indictment alleges that the former wrestling coach and school superintendent formed businesses that billed for doing no work; masked his control of a corporation by naming straw owners; hid income from the IRS; took $550,000 in kickbacks on a laptop computer contract with Virginia-based NCS Technologies Inc.; and even "caused" employees to make $40,000 in individual payments to his favored political candidates before reimbursing them through one of his companies. Although no such charges have been filed, there is a federal statute that prohibits making campaign contributions in the name of another person, or what are referred to as "conduit political contributions." Also charged in the alleged tax conspiracy was Neal Prence, an accountant based in Koppel. Mr. Prence's attorney, Stan Levenson, said he is out of town and had not yet read the indictment.
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