Ex-charter school finance chief gets 18 months for embezzlement


Ex-charter school finance chief Sean Moore, 44, of New Castle, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Andrews to 18 months in prison, the period ofincarceration requested by the government.

The sentencing came after Moore pleaded guilty to three counts of federal program theft on November 2, 2016.

Last month, former Dover charter school principal Noel Rodriguez, 56, pleaded guilty to one count of federal program theft. Rodriguez is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30, 2018. According to court records and statements made in open court, over a three-year period beginning in July 2011, while serving as Principal of the Academy of Dover, a charter school in Dover, Del., Rodriguez embezzled $145,480 from the school.

While serving as theDirector of Finance and Operations for the Family Foundations Academy, a charter school in New Castle, Moore embezzled $161,871 from the school, court filings indicated.

Moore opened an unauthorized credit card in the school’s name, buying iPads with school funds and then selling them online for cash. He also tapped into the school’s fundraising account. Moore used the money to buy personal items such as food, entertainment, electronics, gas, travel, shoes, jewelry, and hotels stays.

Prior to sentencing, Moore claimed that he was suffering from a “severe level of sexual addiction and shopping addiction,” which contributed to his commission of the offense.

Acting U.S. Attorney David Weiss said, “Acting out of self-interest and greed, Mr. Moore stole money intended for the children he promised to serve. That is egregious. The sentence imposed today holds him accountable for cheating children, their families, and the taxpayers.”

“Mr. Moore knowingly and willfully abused his position of trust for personal gain and did so at the expense of the educational development of children. That is unacceptable,” said Geoffrey Wood, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General’s Mid Atlantic Regional Office. “I’m proud of the work of OIG special agents and our law enforcement partners for holding Mr. Moore accountable for his criminal actions. The OIG will continue to aggressively pursue those who steal Federal education funds for their own purposes.America’s students and taxpayers deserve nothing less.”

The case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the U.S, Department of Education – Office of the Inspector General, and the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, with assistance from the Delaware Office of Auditor of Accounts.

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