Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Confirmed By (Ohio) Reporter: There's an FBI Investigation of Concept

6PM Update: The intrepid Dan Mihalopoulos has gone there. Oh yes he has. This should be interesting when Concept finally answers the phone. Remind me to do a post about the whole "keeping secrets" thing.

Let's just hope people recognize the difference between an "audit" and a criminal investigation. Because I'm thinking we're going to be hearing the word "audit" tomorrow. Hint: audits don't come with search warrants.

Looks like Dan's anticipating the "audit" response, too:

But the FBI’s Anderson said Tuesday, “What we did was not part of any audit.”
Original Post

Remember, back in the day, when if the FBI raided your schools as part of a criminal investigation, someone would report it? In the press?

Doug Livingston of the Ohio Beacon:

Federal agents have raided 19 charter schools, including three in Ohio, where an FBI criminal investigation in Cleveland has led to search warrants in Indiana and Illinois over the past week.
The 19 schools are managed by Concept Schools, a charter school operator headquartered near Chicago.
Concept Schools has been investigated previously by the U.S. Department of Labor for its use of foreign workers. Ohio audits found that public money for the schools had been used improperly for visas. Concept received more visas for immigrant workers than Google in 2009 and many of the school’s employees are of Turkish descent. Most of the nonprofit schools’ board members in Northeast Ohio are male and of Turkish descent.
The company manages 19 charter schools in Ohio, second only to Texas with 44 such schools. There are nearly 140 charter schools, spread across 26 states, associated with Turkish Cleric Fetullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric exiled from Turkey, living in Pennsylvania.
The raid began last week as unmarked vans and agents seized documents. The search warrants have been sealed.
“Last Wednesday afternoon we executed some search warrants in conjunction with the (U.S.) Department of Education and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission),” said Vicki Anderson, a special agent with the FBI Cleveland office.
“It is in regards to an ongoing white-collar crime investigation,” Anderson said, declining to divulge further details. “It’s a criminal ongoing investigation.”
Anderson confirmed that raids on Concept Schools in Indiana and Illinois were “all based on the investigation in the Cleveland Field Division.”

So, let's review the key terms:
FBI, search warrants, vans, agents, Concept charter schools, Illinois, boxes of documents, criminal investigation, Chicago. 

These are the key ingredients of a successful news story. 


Thank God for the Sun Times! (This has been my motto for years.)

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