Former charter school treasurer gets prison for embezzlement

A former school treasurer was sentenced to two years in prison on Wednesday for stealing more than $470,000 in federal education funds from four since-closed charter schools, including three in Dayton.

Carl W. Shye Jr., 57, of New Albany, tearfully apologized during his sentencing in U.S. District Court and others offered favorable testimonials, including from former associates of the schools. Shye handled the finances of more than a dozen former charter schools in Columbus, Dayton and Youngstown.

Besides the prison term, Shye got three years probation and is required to repay the money he stole. He has forfeited his CPA license.

An FBI investigation found Shye got access to the money in a wide variety of ways between 2005 and 2011, including changing his contract without telling his bosses, making loans to another school and then pocketing the money when the loan was paid back and falsely reporting services that never happened.

He also wrote himself checks, sometimes forging the signatures of other school officials.

Shye in July pleaded guilty to stealing the following amounts from these former Dayton schools: George Washington Carver Preparatory Academy ($114,000); NuBethel Center of Excellence ($56,000); and New City Community School ($26,000).

Shye also stole $276,000 from Legacy Academy for Leaders & Arts in Youngstown, according to federal officials.

Investigators continue to look into whether Shye engaged in similar activities in schools in other areas, and whether other employees of the schools might have been involved.

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost issued a statement about Shye’s prison sentence after the court hearing. In the past 10 years, the state has issued 62 findings for recovery against him totalling more than $1 million.

“Apart from the obvious exception of violence, there is no worse crime than what Carl Shye did. He abused a position of trust,” Yost said. “His actions not only took resources away from the students in the schools where he took advantage, he damaged a great program in the minds of Ohio parents and taxpayers alike.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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