St. Louis College Prep charter school is under investigation for fraud.

St. Louis College Prep has lost tens of thousands of dollars in state funding amidst an investigation into whether the charter school’s founder over-reported attendance records.

The Missouri State Auditor’s office accepted a request Jan. 11 from Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven to review St. Louis College Prep’s finances. Charter schools are public schools that receive state and federal funding but operate independently from traditional school districts.

The charter school’s sponsor, University of Missouri-St. Louis, in October “identified possible issues with attendance data and remedial enrollment numbers that would have resulted in overpayments to the school in previous years,” Bill Mendelsohn, the executive director of UMSL’s charter school office, said in a statement.

Mendelsohn brought the findings to the school’s board of directors. When questioned about the potential irregularities, the school’s founder and executive director, Mike Malone, resigned Nov. 1. The board alerted the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education — or DESE — the following day.