School payments, solution for accountants, school business manager.
Noel Rodriquez, 56, was sentenced after admitting to stealing from a federal program at the Academy of Dover. Over 3 years (2011-2014) Rodriguez stole nearly $150,000 from the school.
He stole using three methods, according to court records:
- Rodriguez used the state-issued charter school procurement card to purchase $85,000 in items for his use.
- He opened credit cards in the school’s name at the Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sam’s Club and Staples, charging $56,000 to those cards.
- He also siphoned off about $4,000 from a state education voucher program.
Rodriguez’s scheming ended when the State Auditor discovered issues in the school’s accounts. The auditor’s office said the school’s Board of Directors allowed the abuse to go on because it was poorly-trained and too cozy with Rodriguez and thus did little to hold him accountable. Some school staff called him a “bully” and a “manipulator”.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Hatcher wrote in the sentencing document: “Defendant’s conduct was a brazen betrayal of public trust. He used his position to funnel money. It was a multi-faceted scheme, driven by greed, to embezzle money that was intended for the children he promised to serve.”
Rodriguez will serve a year and a month in prison and must pay $145,480 in restitution. Academy of Dover was placed on formal review because of concerns about its financial management. If state regulators aren’t convinced the school has put its financial house in order, they could close it.