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Education


Cleveland charter school operators accused of stealing $1.8 million
Cuyahoga prosecutors say they set up shell companies and took money from 2004 through 2010
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Ohio auditors, alerted by a Cleveland law firm, reviewed the books of the school known as CASTLE, which led to the criminal charges against 10 people. One is Carl Shye, already convicted of stealing money from other charters.
Courtesy of Ohio state auditor's office
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In The Region:

The operators of a Cleveland charter school are accused of stealing more than $1.8 million from the school. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the racketeering and other charges.

According to the Cuyahoga Countyg rand jury, 10 people helped themselves to the money from the Cleveland Academy of Scholarship, Technology and Leadership Enterprise over six years. They’re accused of doing it by setting up 13 shell companies that billed for services they never delivered.

Those charged include board members and the managers of the school, with the now 43-year-old CEO William Peterson of Dayton  accused of getting the most, $858,000.

Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Ed Kraus says outlined the claim against Peterson.

“He had five separate companies. One was called Leadership Training Institute where supposedly there was leadership training going on with the board and he billed for those services. Well there was no documentation to that effect.”

Peterson could not be reached for comment.

Kraus said other board members had stakes in companies that leased facilities to the school and that got contracts to provide consulting services without revealing their personal interests.

 The list of those charged includes Carl Shye, the former treasurer of the school, who is already serving two years in prison for stealing nearly half a million dollars from four other charter schools. 

For more on the allegations, go to StateImpact Ohio. 

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