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Bank buys Dayton charter school property for $590K

With a go-ahead from a bankruptcy court, a Delaware bank recently bought the property of a Dayton charter school -- owned by a bankrupt charter school operator -- for nearly $600,000.

Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB purchased the school building and related property at 184 Salem Ave., Dayton. The sale price was $590,000. The seller was listed the Dayton-based Institute of Management and Resources Inc.

The sale, which was dated Feb. 7, included parcels of land along Edgewood Avenue and Lisle Place near the school, Montgomery County land records show.

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According to the company’s web site, the building sold houses preparatory grades four to eight.

Michelle Thomas, Richard Allen Schools superintendent, said Tuesday the school remains open and there are no changes in school operations as a result of the sale.

Until summer 2017, three Richard Allen schools in Dayton and one in Hamilton were run by the Institute of Management and Resources (IMR), a company started by Thomas and her mother, Richard Allen Schools founder Jeanette Harris, the Dayton Daily News reported last year. 

Earlier this decade, the state auditor’s office ruled that IMR misspent $2.2 million in public money running Richard Allen. The company denied wrongdoing and appealed in court, but lost in 2015.

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The state attorney general’s office sued IMR, Harris, Thomas and others in late 2017, seeking to turn those $2.2 million in audit findings into collectible judgments. The case was stayed when IMR filed for bankruptcy protection months later, this news outlet found in an investigation of court documents.

The newspaper also found last year that after IMR filed for bankruptcy, the new management company that Richard Allen’s board hired in fall 2017 to operate the schools, Educational Management and Development Group (EMDG), was also run by Thomas, operated the same 118 W. First St. address as IMR.

Also, in May last year, findings from a 2016 state audit of the Richard Allen charter schools showed five findings against the schools or their leaders, including a referral asking the Ohio Ethics Commission to review the relationship between the school and its management company.

In December, the federal bankruptcy court in Dayton granted relief from an automatic stay for Wilmington Savings Fund Society with respect to the property at 184 Salem Ave.

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