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Former Goodyear charter school executive gets jail in fraud case

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — The former vice principal of a Goodyear charter school has been sentenced to four months in jail and five years of probation in a fraud case.

State prosecutors said Joann Vega was sentenced Wednesday for her role in enrolling fake students to obtain funding from the Arizona Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

On Sept. 14, former principal Harold Cadiz was sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

Cadiz and Vega worked at the now-closed Bradley Academy of Excellence, a K-8 charter school.

Prosecutors said the two reported hundreds of fake student profiles to the state education department to fraudulently get $2.5 million in additional funding for the financially failing school.

After Bradley Academy abruptly closed its doors in December 2017, it was discovered the school included 191 fake students in its reported enrollment of 652 in the 2016-17 school year and 453 fake students in its reported enrollment of 528 in 2017-18.

Cardiz, Vega and the school’s former CEO, Daniel Hughes, have to collectively pay full restitution as part of their plea agreements.

Hughes is scheduled to be sentenced in November.

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