After a federal grand jury returned a 62-count indictment against a charter school founder and her associates, claiming that $6.5 million in public funds was misused, the U.S. Attorney declared that he would pursue any charter school operators who abused the public trust. The attorney for the defendant said she was innocent and would offer a strong defense against the charges.

“This indictment in this case alleges that June Brown and her four co-conspirators used the charter school system to engage in rampant fraud and obstruction,” Memeger said during an afternoon news conference. “My office will continue to vigorously investigate and pursue those charter school operators who defraud the taxpayers and deprive our children of funds for their education.”

He was joined at the announcement by FBI Special l Agent in Charge George C. Venizelos and Steven Anderson, the special agent in charge of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General for the Mid-Atlantic region. Agents from both federal agencies were involved in the years-long investigation with Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Kyriakakis that led to the indictments.

“The bottom line is running a charter school does not give you a license to steal,” Venizelos said.

Every penny that was lost due to fraud was taken from the public schools of Philadelphia.

The School Reform Commission of Philadelphia hopes to expand the charter sector, adding dozens more deregulated and lightly supervised schools.