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In a charter school theft case, a former White House adviser pleads guilty to misdemeanor

In a charter school theft case, a former White House adviser pleads guilty to misdemeanor

NEW YORK, Jan 14 (Reuters) - A former White House education adviser under President Barack Obama pleaded guilty to wire fraud on Friday following an investigation into theft of $218,000 from a charter school network he founded to get a lower interest rate on a multi-million dollar Manhattan apartment.

Seth Andrew, 42, has entered a plea with District Judge John Cronan of Manhattan in restitution to Democracy Prep Public Schools, which is mostly minority children.

Andrew had previously been involved in money laundering and making a false statement to a bank. At his scheduled sentencing on April 14th, he faces up to 20 years in prison, but will likely have a lot less time.

Seth Andrew has worked tirelessly to expand education, democracy, and technology opportunities to disenfranchized communities around the world, according to his lawyer. "He regrets his past mistakes. He has, with courage, accepted responsibility for them."

Prosecutors claim that in 2019, two years after severing relations with Democracy Prep, Andrew stole escrow accounts for the network's schools to purchase the $2.37 million apartment.

Andrew earned a $1.78 million mortgage with a 2.5% interest rate, prosecutors said. Andrew's wife was not accused of wrongdoing.

Democracy Prep said it has operated 24 schools with more than 7,000 students in New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Nevada, and Texas.

The government has called Andrew's unauthorized withdrawals "a majesty betrayal."

Andrew founded Democracy Prep in 2005, and soon became a senior adviser in the White House's Office of Educational Technology.

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