Man charged with stealing from school
The founder of a District school for learning and emotionally disabled boys has been indicted on charges that he stole more than $2.4 million in government special education grants and spent the money instead on cars, electronics and jewelry, U.S. authorities announced Tuesday.
Charles I. Emor, 50, of Hyattsville, is already serving a one-year prison sentence for an August 2007 fraud conspiracy conviction related to using stolen computers at his school, the SunRise Academy, which has offices in Northwest Washington and two campuses near Logan Circle. He is set for release Dec. 26.
The new indictment, handed down by a federal grand jury Nov. 3 and unsealed Tuesday, charges Emor with 37 counts of theft, money laundering, theft from a program receiving federal funds, interstate transportation of stolen property, and mail, wire and first degree fraud.
Emor faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted, or 70 to 87 months under federal sentencing guidelines. Emor, who also goes by Charles Ike Emenogha, is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 21 before U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman of the District.
A lawyer for Emor could not be immediately identified Tuesday. His case was not yet entered into the court's electronic docket, and lawyers in his earlier case, David Schertler and Danny Onorato, said they were no longer representing him.
In a statement released by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., authorities said Emor stole taxpayer special education grants by padding SunRise's enrollment with truants and drop-outs, jailed or hospitalized students, and students at other schools.
He spent nearly $500,000 for his own son's tuition, rent, artwork, luxury items and clothing, prosecutors charged. While awaiting an unsuccessful appeal of his first conviction, he allegedly transferred $2 million from SunRise through an undocumented "loan" to a for-profit company he set up called Core Ventures, purportedly to run a coffee shop.
Emor started SunRise Academy, a non-profit company, in 1999 to educate male students from the ages of 7 through 22 with emotional disturbances and learning disabilities. SunRise was paid more than $30 million in public grants from October 2005 through July 2010.
Spencer S. Hsu
| November 23, 2010; 7:18 PM ET
Categories: Financial Crimes, Spencer S. Hsu, The District
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