Jury Convicts Trio Of Public Corruption In Connection With Charter School Kickbacks
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A United States District Court jury convicted three people of offering and accepting kickbacks as part of a public corruption conspiracy involving a Dayton, Ohio charter school. Two defendants were public officials who ran the school and the other secured a lucrative consulting contract in exchange for bribes to school officials.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine whose office oversees the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), and Ohio Auditor Dave Yost announced the verdicts reached today which was returned following a trial that began on May 18, 2015 before U.S. District Judge Algernon L. Marbley.
The jury convicted Shane K. Floyd, 42, Strongsville, Ohio, who served as superintendent of Arise, Arise board chairman Christopher D. Martin, 44, Springfield, Ohio, and Carl L. Robinson, 47, Durham, North Carolina, who operated an educational consulting business called Global Educational Consultants.
According to court testimony, Floyd and Martin solicited and accepted bribes from Robinson in exchange for awarding a lucrative, unbid consulting contract to Global. Arise paid Global $420,919 over 15 months starting in September 2008 at a time when Arise was in a financial crisis unable to pay other vendors and teachers pay and benefits were cut. In exchange for the consulting contract, Robinson paid Floyd and Martin large amounts of cash and other benefits, like an all-expense -paid Las Vegas trip taken by Martin.
All three were convicted of conspiracy, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison, and with federal programs bribery, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. In addition, Floyd and Martin were each convicted of one count of making false statements to the FBI, punishable by up to five years imprisonment.
The trio also faces a $420,919 forfeiture, which represents the amount of money derived from the crimes.
A co-defendant, Kristal N. Screven, also known as Kristal Allen, of Dayton, Ohio admitted her role as an Arise board chairman who was bribed by pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery on May 8, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Marbley.
Arise! Academy was an Ohio Community School, commonly known as a charter school, which operated with federal funds provided through the state of Ohio.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by Special Agents of the FBI and Ohio BCI, who are a part of the FBI’s Public Corruption Task Force, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Doug Squires and Peter Glenn-Applegate and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kim Robinson, who prosecuted the case.