Cleveland Academy of Math, Science and Technology

MINISTER CONVICTED OF STEALING SENTENCED TO 7-YEAR TERM; August 15, 2007 Cleveland Plain-Dealer 
A minister convicted of stealing $1.4 million through a Cleveland charter school he founded was sentenced to more than seven years in prison Wednesday.

The Rev. Mark Olds once garnered national attention for his work helping former convicts. But earlier this year, a federal jury convicted the Solon man on 62 counts, including mail fraud, money laundering and tax charges.

Prosectors said Olds used the Cleveland Academy of Math, Science and Technology to enrich himself.

Olds, 56, and his employees claimed the school on East 71st Street had as many as 650 students, even though the building could hold only 150 students.

The charter school Olds established in 2002 received about $5,200 per student each school year. The school received an additional $1.4 million as a result of the fraudulent head counts.

Olds, of Solon, also used more than $200,000 in school money to buy a building on Woodland Avenue in 2002. Then he spent nearly $400,000 to renovate the building, eventually moving the school into the building in September 2003. Three months later, the school closed. Olds then sold the Woodland Avenue building and kept the profits for himself, prosecutors said.

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