Ex-White House aide: 1 year in prison for $218K school scam

Posted at 6:16 PM, July 28, 2022 and last updated 3:32 PM, July 14, 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — A former White House adviser under President Barack Obama was sentenced Thursday to a year in prison for stealing $218,000 from a national charter school network he founded.

Seth Andrew, 43, pleaded guilty in January to wire fraud, admitting that he moved money from the school network, Democracy Prep, to other bank accounts without authorization in 2019.

Democracy Prep, founded in New York City in 2005, expanded across the U.S. after its methods were credited with raising test scores for economically challenged children in Harlem.

Andrew left his job as a superintendent in the Democracy Prep network in 2013 to work in the U.S. Department of Education and as a senior adviser in the White House Office of Educational Technology until 2016.

Prosecutors say Andrew used the money to obtain the best interest rate his bank offered on a mortgage for a $2 million Manhattan apartment he bought with his spouse.

Andrew admitted in federal court in Manhattan that he tried to make it appear as though the money he took from the schools came from a civic organization he controls. He has agreed to pay $218,000 in restitution to Democracy Prep.