The Chicago Sun-Times reports that federal investigators are probing the finances of politically-connected Gulen schools in Illinois.

“A clout-heavy charter-school firm that operates four taxpayer-funded schools in Chicago is suspected of defrauding the government by funneling more than $5 million in federal grants to insiders and “away from the charter schools,” according to court records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

“No criminal charges have been filed in the ongoing investigation of Des Plaines-based Concept Schools, which has built a network of powerful supporters, including Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago.

“According to the newly obtained court documents filed by law-enforcement authorities, the company, its contractors and “many” of its privately run, taxpayer-financed charter schools across the Midwest “engaged in a scheme to defraud a federal program….

“Concept has 30 schools in Illinois and five other states, including four Chicago Public Schools-funded campuses with a total of about 2,200 students. CPS funds them under school-choice laws that provide for government funding of certain privately operated schools….

“Concept president Sedat Duman signed E-Rate certification forms for schools, court records show. They also show Stephen Draviam, a computer consultant in Ohio, told investigators he was picked to do grant-funded work for Concept’s schools without having to submit written bids.

“Huseyin “Shane” Ulker, as Concept’s chief information officer, “established an invoicing scheme” involving Draviam’s company, passing along E-Rate funds to three businesses found to be “affiliated with” Ulker, according to the court records.

“Ulker deposited money into the account of one of the three companies before “a wire transfer of $20,000 was made to a bank account at the Bank of Asya in Turkey,” wrote Geoffrey Wood, the special agent from the federal Education Department’s inspector general’s office who filed the search-warrant affidavit.

“Founded in 1999 by Turkish immigrants, Concept has ties to the influential Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who now lives in Pennsylvania and is wanted in his native Turkey after falling out with that country’s leader.”

Remind me why it is okay for foreign nationals to operate community public schools.