Cleveland Academy of Scholarship Technology & Leadership Enterprise (CASTLE)

Ten people, including a South Euclid man, from 13 companies were indicted Tuesday on multiple charges relating to the operation of a Cleveland charter high school.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said the 32-count indictment included charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity, theft by deception, money laundering and unlawful interest in a public contract.

Between July 2004 and June 2010, payments made to 13 "shell companies" affiliated with board members of the Cleveland Academy of Scholarship, Technology and Leadership Enterprise were not documented and the state auditor issued findings for recovery of $1,850,489, according to the indictment...

“Charter school officials accused of stealing nearly $2 million.” The Plain Dealer (OH), 4/30/2013
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Five former officials of the Cleveland Academy of Scholarship Technology & Leadership Enterprise are among 10 people and 13 businesses accused of fleecing the taxpayer-supported charter school out of nearly $2 million.

A 32-count indictment issued Tuesday accuses the former officials of setting up shell companies to receive payments from the school for goods and services that were never provided...

Among those charged were the school's former chief executive, William Peterson, 43, of Dayton, and the former board chairman, Thomas Unik III, 52, of Cleveland.

Peterson used five shell companies, with names such as Educational Management Alliance and Cross Tech EduServe, to steal $858,000 from the school, according to prosecutors.

Unik, who is part-owner of the building that houses the school at the corner of East 18th Street and Superior Avenue in Cleveland, received $478,785 in excess of the amount dictated by the school's lease, according to prosecutors.

The charges followed a State Auditor's Office investigation of school financial transactions between July 1, 2004, and June 14, 2010. More than 1,000 payments to 134 vendors for more than $5.3 million were examined.

The audit, released about a week ago, called for the recovery of $1,850,489 in payments made by the school to companies that investigators said were connected to the five school leaders and their associates...

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