The superintendent of a Houston charter school and a school employee have been charged with embezzling more than $250,000 from the school’s bank account. 

The head of a Houston-area charter school and another school employee have been indicted on federal embezzlement charges, accused of siphoning more than $250,000 from the school for themselves and using some of the money to buy a car and condominium.
A grand jury in the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of Texas handed up charges this week against Houston Gateway Academy Superintendent Richard Garza, including one count of conspiracy, two counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, three counts of wire fraud and two counts of engaging in monetary transactions involving criminally acquired property. Ahmad Bokaiyan, a technology support specialist at the school, was charged with conspiracy and three counts of wire fraud. They are now considered fugitives, according to a federal court records…
According to the indictment, Garza awarded a $280,841.85 no-bid contract in 2014 to a group called Hot Rod Systems to build an IT infrastructure at the new school, even though construction on the school had not yet begun. Hot Rod Systems was owned by Bokaiyan. Prosecutors say the two Houston Gateway Academy employees agreed that Bokaiyan would wire some of that contract money into one of Garza’s personal bank accounts. Within days of receiving the contract money from Garza, Bokaiyan wired the superintendent $164,381.
The indictment alleges Garza used more than $50,000 of those funds to buy a new Nissan Armada sport utility vehicle, more than $86,500 to help purchase a condominium, and nearly $26,000 to help make payments on a house loan in Cypress.
Garza’s school enrolls 2,400 students. He had plans to expand to nearly 10,000. He took over the school when it had low scores.
He began an aggressive plan to improve academics on state-mandated standardized tests, placing countdown clocks to test days in all classrooms and requiring even the youngest students to complete three-ring binders filled with practice tests and worksheets. As a result, their Coral middle school campus shot up the nonprofit Children at Risk’s annual school report card rankings, rising to the ranking’s number three spot. All of its 110 fifth and sixth grade students passed the math portion of the STAAR, an exceedingly rare feat for any school, let alone one that serves predominately low-income students. 
One wonders whether he worked the same magic with the test scores that he did with the finances.