Ex-White House adviser pleads guilty in $218,000 school scam

The founding father of a nationwide constitution school community who as soon as served as a White House adviser beneath President Barack Obama has pleaded guilty to a cost alleging he stole over $200,000 from the community

NEW YORK — The founding father of a nationwide constitution school community who as soon as served as a White House adviser beneath President Barack Obama pleaded guilty Friday to a cost alleging he stole over $200,000 from the community.

Seth Andrew, 42, a founding father of Democracy Prep, entered the plea in Manhattan federal court docket to wire fraud, admitting that he moved money in 2019 from the constitution faculties community to different financial institution accounts without authorization.

“I’m really sorry for what I’ve executed,” an emotional Andrew, his voice cracking, advised Judge John P. Cronan. “What I did was fallacious and I deeply remorse my actions.”

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“And, as I stand earlier than you in the present day, I’ve great regret for the influence it has had on the faculties, the alumni and my family,” he added.

In 2005, Andrew was a founding father of Democracy Prep when it started in New York City. After its strategies helped increase take a look at scores for economically challenged youngsters in Harlem, it expanded throughout the United States.

In spring 2013, Andrew left his function as a superintendent in his faculties community to work in the U.S. Department of Education and as a senior adviser in the Office of Educational Technology on the White House. The job lasted till November 2016.

In court docket papers, authorities mentioned Andrew stole $218,000 from the faculties he helped create after which used the money to acquire the perfect rate of interest his financial institution provided on a mortgage for a $2 million Manhattan condominium he purchased together with his partner.

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Andrew admitted Friday that he tried to make it seem as if the money he took from the faculties got here from a civic group he controls as he moved money from the faculties community accounts to his private accounts and later to the nonprofit’s account from March to October of 2019.

He mentioned he advised financial institution staff he had authorization to switch the Democracy Prep funds when he didn’t.

In a launch, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams mentioned “Andrew, a former White House adviser, admitted in the present day to devising a scheme to steal from the exact same faculties he helped create.”

He added: “Andrew now faces time in federal jail for abusing his place and robbing these he promised to assist.”

Defense attorneys Tim Doherty and Edward Kim mentioned in a press release that Andrew for over 20 years “has labored tirelessly to develop academic, democratic, and technological alternative to disenfranchised communities all over the world.”

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“Seth’s life has at all times been motivated by a civic mission and he deeply regrets his previous errors. He has, with braveness, accepted accountability for them,” the lawyer mentioned. “With the assistance and help of his household and family members, Seth seems to be ahead to deepening his dedication to service and innovation in the subsequent chapter of his life.”

Andrew has agreed to pay $218,000 in restitution to the Charter School Network. Sentencing was scheduled for April 14, when he faces as much as 20 years in jail, though prosecutors and protection attorneys agreed in a written plea deal {that a} sentence ranging from 21 to 27 months in jail was acceptable.

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