Former Obama official charged with stealing $218,000 from schools
Seth Andrew faces charges of wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements to a financial institution, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced Tuesday.
The Department of Justice alleges that in 2005, Andrew founded a network of charter schools based in New York City. In 2013, he left his job as superintendent of the charter school network for a job in former President Barack Obama’s Department of Education. He later worked as a senior adviser in the Obama White House’s Office of Educational Technology.
Authorities allege that in 2019, Andrew closed two escrow accounts, both of which were only to be used in the event that the charter schools he founded were to dissolve.
He allegedly then deposited that money into two new bank accounts, one of which was used to obtain a bank-offered promotion for a lower interest rate on Andrew’s luxury Manhattan apartment.
“As alleged, Seth Andrew abused his position as a founder of a charter school network to steal from the very same schools he helped create,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said.
FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney said, “Today Andrew himself is learning one of life’s most basic lessons – what doesn’t belong to you is not yours for the taking.”
Andrew faces one count of wire fraud, one count of money laundering, and one count of making false statements to a financial institution.
Each of the wire fraud and money laundering counts carry a maximum sentence of 20 years; making false statements to a financial institution carries a maximum sentence of 30 years.