A former White House adviser was arrested and charged with stealing more than $200,000 from a charter school he created.

Seth Andrew, who served as an education adviser in the Obama White House, was arrested Tuesday and charged with wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements to a financial institution, according to the Department of Justice. He’s expected to appear in court later in the day.

Andrew created Democracy Prep, a charter school in Harlem, New York, in 2005. The group runs 21 charter schools across several states and serves 6,500 students. He left the group in 2017.

“As alleged, Seth Andrew abused his position as a founder of a charter school network to steal from the very same schools he helped create,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss. “Andrew is not only alleged to have stolen the schools’ money but also to have used the stolen funds to obtain a savings on a mortgage for a multimillion-dollar Manhattan apartment. Thanks to the FBI’s diligent work, Andrew now faces federal charges for his alleged scheme.”

Andrew allegedly swiped the money from three separate escrow accounts and pocketed about $70,000 from two apiece, and a third had $75,000 in it. The money in the accounts is required for charter schools, and it is only supposed to be touched in the event the school is dissolved.

On August 21, 2019, Andrew purchased a residential property located in New York City that cost about $2,368,000.

His lawyer, Michael Yaeger, told the New York Daily News that Andrew will plead not guilty.

Democracy Prep notified the community of the arrest in an email from CEO Natasha Trivers.

“His alleged actions are a profound betrayal of all that we stand for and to you and your children, the scholars and families that we serve. To be clear, at no time did the alleged crimes pose any risk to our students, staff or operations in any way,” Trivers wrote.

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “Locking into the lowest interest rate when applying for a loan is certainly the objective of every home buyer, but when you don’t have the necessary funds to put down, and you steal the money from your former employer to make up the difference, saving money in interest is likely to be the least of your concerns. We allege today that Andrew did just that, and since the employer he stole from was a charter school organization, the money he took belonged to an institution serving school-aged children. Today Andrew himself is learning one of life’s most basic lessons — what doesn’t belong to you is not yours for the taking.”

Andrew is married to CBS News anchor Lana Zak.

Author: Mike Brest, Breaking News Reporter

Source: Washington Examiner : Obama-era White House adviser arrested and charged with stealing from charter school he created