Seth Andrew during a TEDx talk
Source: TEDx talks | Youtube
Federal attorneys and an attorney for former Obama’s White House education advisor Seth Andrew are in initial talks about the possible resolution of the criminal case accusing him of tearing down a $ 218,000 charter school network he founded, one said Court act of a public prosecutor.
These discussions came to light just a month after Andrew was arrested on a New York City criminal complaint for wire fraud, money laundering, and misrepresentation against a financial institution.
However, a person familiar with these discussions, who requested anonymity because of the nature of the conversations, said they were not referring to a possible pleading deal, but rather giving Andrew’s new attorney time to delve into the case.
Andrew, 42, who is free with a $ 500,000 bond, is the founder of Democracy Prep Public Schools, which he left in 2013 to join then-President Barack Obama’s administration.
Prosecutors last month accused Andrew of looting a number of individual school escrow accounts on the Democracy Prep network in 2019.
Andrew then allegedly used most of that money to maintain a minimum bank account, which in turn provided him with a cheaper rate on the $ 1.776 million mortgage on the Manhattan residence he and his wife, CBS news anchor Lana, were given Zak, shares.
Andrew and Zak received a mortgage rate of only 2.5% or 0.5% less than they should have paid because they had more than $ 1 million on deposit with the lender.
Without the more than $ 142,000 allegedly stolen funds he had deposited with the lender, “Andrew would only have been entitled to an interest deduction of 0.375%,” the New York Southern District Attorney said last month firmly.
Democracy Prep said it found out about the unauthorized withdrawals and then reached out to the authorities.
Zak, who has three children with Andrew, is not accused of wrongdoing.
Thursday was the legal 30-day deadline for Andrew to be charged in the case by either a grand jury indictment or some other type of indictment document known as information, which is usually filed when a defendant has indicated readiness to plead guilty.
On Thursday, the district attorney asked Manhattan Federal Supreme Court judge Barbara Moses to extend the deadline.
“The defense attorney and the government are debating a possible decision on this case and other matters,” US Attorney General Ryan Finkel wrote in a court filing.
“Therefore the government is requesting a 30-day continuation of the above talks until June 27, 2021. The undersigned has spoken personally with a defense attorney who has expressly agreed to this request.”
Moses granted the request for continuation in an order released on Friday.
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An injunction in criminal proceedings usually relates to an admission of guilt, an acquittal in court, or, less often, the prosecution’s dismissal of an indictment.
It is common for prosecutors and defense lawyers to discuss a possible settlement agreement, but such discussions do not always end in an agreement.
And the person familiar with the discussions in Andrew’s case said the postponement of the indictment period was due to the fact that his attorney, Edward Kim, was recently hired to represent him on the case, rather than to open the case immediately to be solved by a request.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment.
Kim also declined to comment.
Until his arrest, Andrew was CEO of Democracy Builders, a group that describes itself as the “social sector studio” that introduced more than $ 1 billion to companies that put the face of education, democracy and technology on change all over the world.
Democracy Builders bought the former Marlboro College campus in Marlboro, Vermont, for more than $ 1.7 million in 2020 with the aim of building a school there called Degrees of Freedom.
The group removed Andrew as chairman of the board and restricted his access to all financial accounts after learning of his arrest.
Natasha Trivers, current CEO of the Democracy Prep charter school network, said in an email to the network’s families last month that Andrews “alleged acts are a profound betrayal of all that we stand for, and of you and your children, the scholars, and the world Families we serve. “
Trivers added, “The network’s finances remain strong and Seth Andrew’s activities have at no point had a negative impact on our students or the functioning of our schools.”