Former Charter School Board President Found Guilty of Embezzlement and Wire Fraud
Miami, Florida – On March 23, 2022, following a week and half-long trial, a federal jury in Fort Lauderdale, Florida found Jimika I. Williams, a/k/a Jimika Mason, guilty of two counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and 18 counts of wire fraud.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Williams was the President of Advancement of Education in Scholars Corporation (AESC), a Florida non-profit corporation that operated Paramount Charter School (PCS), a charter school located in Broward County. PCS received federal funding through Title 1, which is only paid to a school if more than 50% of the students are eligible for free or reduced cost lunches. PCS also received state funding, and all funding was paid through the School Board of Broward County.
The trial evidence also established that Williams was the President of another Florida corporation, Florida Scholars Educational Services Corporation (FSESC). Between 2015 through and including June of 2017, Williams unlawfully enriched herself by making payments totaling approximately $389,857 from AESC’s business account, which was used to operate PCS, for no services to the charter school. The funds were transferred/deposited into an FSESC account and used for Williams’ personal purchases including payments for a vehicle, a private school, rent, and other personal expenses, and not for the benefit of PCS.
On June 7, 2022, the Honorable United States District Court Judge Rodney Smith will impose a sentence. Williams faces a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment for each of the theft of government programs charge and 20 years’ imprisonment for each of the wire fraud charges, as well as substantial monetary penalties and restitution.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami, and Reginald J. France, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, Southeastern Regional Office made the announcement.
FBI Miami and the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, Southeastern Regional Office investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cynthia Wood and Eric Morales prosecuted the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney William T. Zloch is handling asset forfeiture.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 20-cr-60135.