Charter School Principal Charged With Federal Program Theft
WILMINGTON, Del. – Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that an Indictment has been handed down by the Grand Jury, charging Noel Rodriguez, 55, formerly of Dover, Del., with four counts of federal program theft. On each count, Rodriguez faces up to ten years in prison and three years of supervised release, in addition to possible fines and restitution.
According to the Indictment, during each of the years 2011 to 2014, while employed as the Principal of the Academy of Dover Charter School in Dover, Del., Rodriguez embezzled at least $5,000 of money or property belonging to the school. During that time period, the Indictment alleges, the charter school received yearly federal funding in excess of $10,000 from the United States Department of Education. This funding provides the basis for the federal program theft charges.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Education – Office of the Inspector General, and the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, with assistance from the Delaware Officer of Auditor of Accounts. Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth L. Van Pelt is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Indictments are only charges and are not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.