LOS ANGELES – The founder/director and her son of Wisdom Academy for Young (WAY) Scientist, a South Los Angeles charter school were charged with funneling around $200,000 to a company that submitted fake invoices for a shell company.
The two identified as Kendra Uzoma Okonkwo, 51, and Jason Chiazom Okonkwo, 29, were charged and arrested for misappropriation of public funds, grand theft by embezzlement, money laundering, and keeping a false account. The over 10-year-old school was founded by Kendra Uzoma Okonkwo, who stopped working at the school when it was determined that she had a conflict of interest.
Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said that the two allegedly transferred over $200,000 from the school account to a business that was allegedly run by Kendra Okonkwo from January 2012 and March 2014. Her son, Jason Okonkwo was accused of approving the fake invoice for school supplies and food. The money was deposited in the account then transferred to Kendra Okonkwo’s own bank account.
Arraignment has not been set and bail is recommended to be $145,000. If convicted as charged, the two can be sentenced to up to six years and eight months in prison.
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