Eye on Education

Former Cleveland Heights Charter School Employees Indicted in Connection With $400,000 Fraud Scheme

Four people were indicted today on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to launder money in connection with a scheme to defraud a Cleveland Heights charter school out of more than $400,000. The charter school, Greater Heights Academy, closed abruptly in 2008 amid questions about unpaid bills.

The school had previously been overseen, or “sponsored,” by the Ashe Culture Center. The state Board of Education revoked Ashe’s authority to sponsor charter schools in 2011.

Indictments on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to launder money were handed down against Joel B. Friedman, 65, of Mayfield Heights; Jeffrey A. Pope, 46, of Bowie, Md.; Marianne Stefanik, 64, of Parma, and Virgil B. Holley, 51, of Cleveland Heights.

Friedman served as chairman of Greater Heights Academy, a charter school located in Cleveland Heights. Stefanik worked as Friedman’s secretary at the school. Pope operated a consulting business in Maryland known as R&D International. Holley worked for Friedman at the charter school in various capacities, including starting Holley Enterprises to provide security at the school.

Read more at: www.cleveland.com

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »