Posts tagged "crimestoppers"
April 12, 2012
The founder of a moribund chain of Brooklyn charter schools embezzled taxpayer funds and did not pay taxes on his earnings, then falsified documents to try to cover up his crimes, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Schneiderman today announced that he was indicting Eddie Calderon-Melendez, the founding CEO of the Believe High Schools Network, on 11 felony charges including tax fraud, grand larceny, and tampering with evidence.
The indictment caps a lengthy investigation that was well underway when the state and city, citing massive mismanagement and financial improprieties, each moved to shut down the network this year. A major issue was the high management fees that Calderon-Melendez charged the network’s three schools. Last year, Williamsburg Charter High School failed to make rent after a sharp enrollment decline. The year before, the school sent students to an industrial space when its own building was not ready.
The state is letting one school in the network, Believe Northside Charter School, remain open, but the city earlier this month rejected an appeal by the flagship school, Williamsburg Charter, after concluding that it was about $5 million in debt.
Calderon-Melendez took home nearly $1.5 million while that debt accrued, according to Schneiderman’s indictment, which spells out a pattern of brazen theft. Investigators found that Calderon-Melendez paid no taxes on those earnings and used the school’s credit card to finance a personal trip to Europe. (more…)