Ex-Obama Counselor Admits To Stole $218K From Schools For NYC Apartment Mortgage

Seth Andrew, a former White House adviser during Barack Obama’s presidency and founder of a network of charter schools, pleaded guilty Friday to a New York wire transfer charge after allegations that he stole $218,000 from the schools to buy the best to get interest. on a mortgage for an apartment in 2019.

“Seth Andrew, a former White House adviser, admitted today that he had devised a plan to steal from the same schools he helped set up,” attorney Damian Williams said in a press release. Andrew is now serving time in federal prison for abusing his position and robbing those he promised to help.

According to The Associated Press, Andrew, 42, helped found Democracy Prep in 2005. It opened its first school in Harlem in 2006.

After success in increasing test scores at the school, Democracy Prep expanded in the following years and currently operates 24 schools in New York, New Jersey, Baton Rouge, Las Vegas and San Antonio, according to the Democracy Prep website.

According to previous court records, Andrew left the organization in 2013 and accepted a position with the United States Department of Education. He later became a senior advisor to the Office of Educational Technology at the White House, a position he held until November 2016. In January 2017, Andrew ended his official relationship with Democracy Prep.

According to the Justice Department press release, New York’s Democracy Prep schools were required to maintain “escrow accounts,” which can only be accessed when the school closes.

Seth Andrew Democracy Prep Stolen Money $200,000
US currency is depicted on October 14, 2004 in Washington, DC. Seth Andrew pleaded guilty Friday to stealing more than $200,000 from the school network he helped establish.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Andrew was a signatory of the three opened bills belonging to the school. According to the charges, he closed two of the accounts in March 2019 while claiming he had the authority to do so, which he did not do as he was no longer involved with the schools and the schools were not being disbanded.

That same day, he reportedly opened an account with another bank and deposited one of the checks he received when closing an account, which was about $70,000. Days later, he deposited the second check for a similar amount from an ATM.

Andrew and his wife, who was not charged, allegedly deposited the money in August 2019 to take advantage of a bank promotion that cut interest rates, and used the discounted interest rate on a $2 million apartment mortgage in Manhattan, according to the New York Times.

In October 2019, the complaint alleged that he closed the third escrow account and opened another account with the third check, which was about $75,000.

Andrew apologized Friday for his actions in court and acknowledged the damage the case has caused to the school and his family, the AP said.

“Seth’s life has always been motivated by a civilian mission and he deeply regrets his past mistakes. He has, with courage, accepted responsibility for them,” defense attorneys Tim Doherty and Edward Kim said in a statement. ap. “With the help and support of his family and loved ones, Seth looks forward to deepening his commitment to service and innovation in the next chapter of his life.”

The AP also reported that Andrew has agreed to pay $218,000 to the schools and face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison at a hearing scheduled for April 14. However, the prosecutors and the defense agreed in Andrew’s plea deal that a sentence of 21 to 27 months was appropriate.

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