Allegations of fraud continue to plague what used to be Ohio’s largest online charter school, as Ohio’s auditor claims the school inflated student participation numbers to collect millions in taxpayer money. He is now handing over what he considered proof to the authorities.
His audit relied heavily on the program that the charter school used to track online student participation. According to him, the school handed over documentation to the Ohio Department of Education that showed log-in and log-out times but the information did not include the websites being visited or the programs students were enrolled in. Upon a deeper dive, he alleges he discovered that the school did not deduct anything from the student’s time on the computer. This means that learning time, idle time and time spent on a non-learning activity was all included in the time being tracked.
The auditor gave an example of a student who seemingly logged in 8,875 hours on the tracking program, but there are only 8,760 hours in a year, making this claim impossible. He stated that submitting false information in order to gain money to which one is not entitled can be considered fraud and a criminal activity.
A single mistake can often get misconstrued and lead to serious criminal allegations. Fraud allegations and all suspicion of white-collar crimes, can have a negative impact on one’s reputation. Though it takes years to build it up, one smudge can end up running a business into the ground. It might be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible to build up an aggressive defense that attacks every aspect of the prosecution’s case.