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12/11/2023 - One of California’s largest charter school networks lacked years of records to justify tens of millions in spending, state audit finds

Inspire, a home school charter network, for years lacked records to justify its claims for state funding. The Inspire network, which included two schools authorized out of San Diego County, also overreported student attendance. Inspire’s lapses resulted in part from some of the same financial practices and weaknesses in oversight that have allowed other California charter school operators to get more taxpayer money.

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11/29/2023 - Statewide task force meets in San Diego following record-breaking charter school fraud case

The task force was formed as a result of a 2019 San Diego case, which found 11 people defrauded the state of $400 million.

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11/27/2023 - California’s new anti-fraud charter school task force will convene for the first time in San Diego Monday

The task force was ordered by San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert Longstreth in September as part of the years-long A3 charter school case, which is the largest case of charter school fraud prosecuted in California in recent years.

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10/05/2023 - Madera charter school audit reveals misuse of $1million in funds

An audit report has revealed potential misuse of $1.06 million in public funds at Ezequiel Tafoya Alvarado Academy, a charter school in Madera, California.The report alleges various instances of misappropriation, including $38,000 spent to finance thehigher education expenses and the purchase of two Ford F-150 Raptors for the sons of ex-executive director Nicolas Retana, costing $80,000.

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10/03/2023 - 16 years later, no trial date set for California Charter Academy case

In 2007, Tad Honeycutt and Charles Steven Cox were charged with misappropriating $5.5 million in charter school funds

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09/30/2023 - Fraud at local charter school: Wrapping it up

A full accounting of the alleged fraud by Nicholas Retana, former Executive Director of the ETAA Charter School, in the amount of $1,062,590.49, is impossible to report in a single issue of the Tribune.

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09/25/2023 - Audit: $1M misspent at Ezequial Tafoya Alvarado Academy

An “Extraordinary Audit” conducted by an educational management firm (FCMAT) has revealed suspected fraud at Ezequiel Tafoya Alvarado Academy, a Madera County charter school authorized by Madera Unified School District. (Every charter school in California must be sponsored by a school district).

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09/25/2023 - California charter school task force formed in wake of fraud case

California State Controller Malia Cohen has agreed to chair a task force to establish audit criteria and best practices to detect and curtail charter school fraud following a case that cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.

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06/13/2022 - In One of the Largest Charter School Scams in History, No One Will Serve Jail Time

Despite such an unprecedented theft, not a single person involved in the A3 case will spend a day behind bars. McManus and Schrock were both sentenced to four years – but both have already been in ankle monitors, on home confinement. They both will get credit for time served. Several other key players had their felonies reduced to misdemeanors and two defendants essentially had their charges dropped for cooperating in the investigation.

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06/01/2022 - San Diego County gets $18.8M more restitution for A3 charter school scam

An additional $18.8 million has been paid to San Diego County as restitution for the statewide A3 charter school scam in which the state was defrauded of hundreds of millions of school dollars, the San Diego County District Attorney announced Wednesday.

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06/01/2022 - San Diego County Collects Millions in Fines from Charter School Fraud Case

More than $37 million in fines has been paid to San Diego County as part of a court judgment stemming from a charter school fraud scheme that took millions in public school funds and led to criminal charges against 11 people, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

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12/17/2021 - Former charter school director sentenced to probation after embezzling millions

The former director of a for-profit charter school organization was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution after pleading guilty to embezzling millions of dollars and tax evasion, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

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