NEW Academy Canoga Park

The former principal of NEW Academy Canoga Park charter school has pleaded guilty to embezzlement, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in a statement Wednesday.

Edward Peter Fiszer, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement by a public officer and admitted that the dollar-value exceeded $1.3 million, the statement said. Fiszer was immediately sentenced to five years in state prison by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Judith Champagne and  ordered to pay $1,428,485.15 in restitution to the school.

Prosecutors said Fiszer embezzled more than $1.4 million between 2008 and 2009 by obtaining nearly two dozen cashier's checks from school accounts and depositing them in an Ameritrade account to trade stocks. He was removed as principal in November 2009 after the theft was discovered.

Fiszer was arrested Oct. 4 in West Windsor, N.J., and brought back to Los Angeles by officers investigating the case, the statement said.

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The former principal of a San Fernando Valley charter school allegedly misappropriated $1.6 million, according to an audit released Monday by the inspector general’s office of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Auditors also have questioned more than $1 million dollars in other expenditures at the NEW Academy Canoga Park charter school…

Among their findings, auditors contend that the school’s former principal, who isn't named in the audit, withdrew cashier’s checks totaling $1,073,700 from school accounts to deposit in an investment account between July 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2009…

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