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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Former Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School CEO Pleads Guilty to Tax Conspiracy

PITTSBURGH - The former CEO of the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School pleaded guilty to a charge of tax conspiracy, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Nicholas Trombetta, 61, of East Liverpool, Ohio, pleaded guilty to one count before Chief United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Trombetta was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the PA Cyber Charter School. Trombetta created a series of connected for-profit and not-for-profit entities to siphon taxpayer funds out of PA Cyber and to avoid federal income tax liabilities.

Judge Conti scheduled sentencing for Dec. 20, 2016, at 10 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorneys Robert S. Cessar, Stephen R. Kaufman and James R. Wilson are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations and the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution of Trombetta.

Updated August 24, 2016