The U.S. attorney's office accused the former head of a Milwaukee charter school Wednesday of embezzling more than $300,000 in federal money.
A grand jury indicted Rosella Tucker, 54, of Milwaukee, on two counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds.
Tucker started New Hope Institute of Science and Technology in 2003, according to a U.S. attorney's office news release. It was a subsidiary of Tucker's New Hope Child Development Center, which also included her voucher school, Tucker Institute of Learning.
The indictment alleges that Tucker embezzled more than $300,000 from 2003 to 2005 from New Hope Institute of Science and Technology, which received federal money. She served as director of New Hope Institute of Science and Technology and New Hope Child Development Center, prosecutors said.
But Milwaukee Public Schools closed New Hope Institute of Science and Technology in 2006 for failing to meet its financial obligations.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel previously reported that the school was unable to pay its employees on time consistently and owed money to the school district and on its building insurance.
There was also some question about a 2002 BMW X5 valued at $43,700, plus $6,392 in finance charges. The district told the school to sell the vehicle in 2005, but it remained licensed to New Hope Child Development Inc. and someone named Haider Bokhari when the district decided to close the school.
Tucker could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
New Hope Institute of Science and Technology
FORMER CHARTER SCHOOL HEAD ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLEMENT INDICTMENT ALLEGES WOMAN STOLE MORE THAN $300,000 IN FEDERAL MONEY; January 24, 2008; Associated Press