Ex-White House adviser pleads guilty in $218,000 school scam

Jan 14, 2022, 1:27 PM | Updated: 4:54 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — The founder of a national charter school network who once served as a White House adviser under President Barack Obama pleaded guilty Friday to a charge alleging he stole over $200,000 from the network.

Seth Andrew, 42, a founder of Democracy Prep, entered the plea in Manhattan federal court to wire fraud, admitting that he moved money in 2019 from the charter schools network to other bank accounts without authorization.

“I am truly sorry for what I have done,” an emotional Andrew, his voice cracking, told Judge John P. Cronan. “What I did was wrong and I deeply regret my actions.”

“And, as I stand before you today, I have tremendous remorse for the impact it has had on the schools, the alumni and my own family,” he added.

In 2005, Andrew was a founder of Democracy Prep when it started in New York City. After its methods helped raise test scores for economically challenged children in Harlem, it expanded across the United States.

In spring 2013, Andrew left his role as a superintendent in his schools network to work in the U.S. Department of Education and as a senior adviser in the Office of Educational Technology at the White House. The job lasted until November 2016.

In court papers, authorities said Andrew stole $218,000 from the schools he helped create and then used the money to obtain the best interest rate his bank offered on a mortgage for a $2 million Manhattan apartment he bought with his spouse.

Andrew admitted Friday that he tried to make it appear as though the money he took from the schools came from a civic organization he controls as he moved money from the schools network accounts to his personal accounts and later to the nonprofit’s account from March to October of 2019.

He said he told bank employees he had authorization to transfer the Democracy Prep funds when he did not.

In a release, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said “Andrew, a former White House adviser, admitted today to devising a scheme to steal from the very same schools he helped create.”

He added: “Andrew now faces time in federal prison for abusing his position and robbing those he promised to help.”

Defense attorneys Tim Doherty and Edward Kim said in a statement that Andrew for over two decades “has worked tirelessly to expand educational, democratic, and technological opportunity to disenfranchised communities around the world.”

“Seth’s life has always been motivated by a civic mission and he deeply regrets his past mistakes. He has, with courage, accepted responsibility for them,” the lawyer said. “With the help and support of his family and loved ones, Seth looks forward to deepening his commitment to service and innovation in the next chapter of his life.”

Andrew has agreed to pay $218,000 in restitution to the Charter School Network. Sentencing was scheduled for April 14, when he faces up to 20 years in prison, although prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed in a written plea deal that a sentence ranging from 21 to 27 months in prison was appropriate.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A nurse checks the weight of a child in the makeshift clinic organized by World Vision at a ...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Why effort to help Afghanistan is falling short

WASHINGTON (AP) — As winter deepens, a grim situation in Afghanistan is getting worse. Freezing temperatures are compounding misery from the downward spiral that has come with the fall of the U.S.-backed government and the Taliban takeover. Aid groups and international agencies estimate about 23 million people, more than half the country, face severe hunger […]
23 hours ago
FILe - Florida Sen. Ray Rodrigues, center, views redistricting maps on a video monitor as an identi...
Associated Press

Democrats make surprising inroads in redistricting fight

NEW YORK (AP) — Democrats braced for disaster when state legislatures began redrawing congressional maps, fearing that Republican dominance of statehouses would tilt power away from them for the next decade. But as the redistricting process reaches its final stages, that anxiety is beginning to ease. For Democrats, the worst case scenario of losing well […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

This week: Fed meeting, inflation data, Apple earnings

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week: Fed meeting With inflation high and the economy strengthening, the Fed has made clear that it’s nearly ready to end its bond-buying program meant to keep longer-term rates low, as well as to raise short-term rates off their record low. […]
23 hours ago
A man wearing a face mask walks near a money exchange office in downtown Seoul, South Korea, Monday...
Associated Press

Asian shares mostly lower, extending Wall Street losses

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Monday after Wall Street logged its worst week since the pandemic began in 2020. Benchmarks declined in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney but rose in Shanghai. U.S. futures were higher. Investors have been growing increasingly worried about how aggressively the Federal Reserve, which holds […]
23 hours ago
FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2018 file photo, with a downed power utility pole in the foreground, Eric E...
Associated Press

PG&E’s criminal probation to end amid ongoing safety worries

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric is poised to emerge from five years of criminal probation, despite worries that nation’s largest utility remains too dangerous to trust after years of devastation from wildfires ignited by its outdated equipment and neglectful management. The probation, set to expire at midnight Tuesday, was supposed to rehabilitate […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History

Today in History Today is Monday, Jan. 24, the 24th day of 2022. There are 341 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Jan. 24, 1989, confessed serial killer Theodore Bundy was executed in Florida’s electric chair. On this date: In 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
ENVOQUE MD

Thyroid issues: Here are the warning signs and what to do

In a 100-person office in the United States, an estimated 12 co-workers, employees and loved ones, will likely develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. That’s because, according to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12% of the U.S. population will experience thyroid issues.
...
Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford offers cars and deals for all this holiday season

Sanderson Ford’s No! Vember Black Friday sale is giving an opportunity to purchase a new 2021 vehicle just in time for the holiday season.
(Facebook Photo/NHTSA)...
Sweet James

Upcoming holiday season is peak time for DUI arrests

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most dangerous time of the year to be driving. That’s why it’s important to remember to call Sweet James Accident Attorneys if you’re injured or arrested because of a DUI accident.
Ex-White House adviser pleads guilty in $218,000 school scam