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Epic Charter Schools embezzled millions with 'ghost students,' OSBI says

Epic Charter Schools embezzled millions with 'ghost students,' OSBI says


A state investigation has found Epic Charter Schools, the state’s largest virtual charter school system, embezzled millions in state funds by illegally inflating enrollment counts with “ghost students.”

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation alleged Epic co-founders David Chaney and Ben Harris “devised a scheme to use their positions as public officers to unlawfully derive profits from state appropriated funds.”

An OSBI agent made the allegations in a search warrant that sought evidence of embezzlement, obtaining money by false pretenses and racketeering.

Investigators reported Chaney and Harris “created a system of financial gain at Epic” when they founded the virtual charter school in 2010. The two co-founders have managed the virtual charter school through a for-profit company, Epic Youth Services, which receives a portion of Epic’s state funds.

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