Sunday, July 21, 2019

Oklahoma’s EPIC Virtual Charter School: Too Much Money, Too Fast, and More | deutsch29

Oklahoma’s EPIC Virtual Charter School: Too Much Money, Too Fast, and More | deutsch29

Oklahoma’s EPIC Virtual Charter School: Too Much Money, Too Fast, and More

According to the July 17, 2019, Oklahoman, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) served Epic Charter Schools, the largest virtual charter school chain in the state, with a search warrant; OSBI alleges that Epic’s co-founders, David Chaney and Ben Harris, have been stealing public money via inflating school enrollments.
From the Oklahoman:
A state investigation alleges Epic Charter Schools, the state’s largest virtual charter school system, embezzled millions in state funds by illegally inflating enrollment counts with “ghost students.”
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation alleged Epic co-founders David Chaney and Ben Harris “devised a scheme to use their positions as public officers to unlawfully derive profits from state appropriated funds.”
An OSBI agent made the allegations in a search warrant that sought evidence of embezzlement, obtaining money by false pretenses and racketeering.
Investigators reported Chaney and Harris “created a system of financial gain at Epic” when they founded the virtual charter school in 2010. The two co-founders have managed the virtual charter school through a for-profit company, Epic Youth Services, which receives a portion of Epic’s state funds. …
In its search warrant, OSBI alleged between 2013 and 2018, Chaney and Harris unlawfully received $10 million in profits from Epic Youth Services and split the total. …
“Ben Harris and David Chaney enticed ghost students to enroll in Epic by offering each student an annual learning fund ranging from $800 to $1,000,” OSBI reported in the warrant. “… The parents of many of the homeschool students admitted they enrolled their children in Epic to CONTINUE READING: Oklahoma’s EPIC Virtual Charter School: Too Much Money, Too Fast, and More | deutsch29




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