October 2, 2015

Group Sentenced for Public Corruption in Connection with Charter School Kickbacks

COLUMBUS, OH—Four people were sentenced for their roles in offering and accepting kickbacks as part of a public corruption conspiracy involving a Dayton, Ohio charter school. Two defendants were public officials who ran the school and the other secured a lucrative consulting contract in exchange for bribes to school officials.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine whose office oversees the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), and Ohio Auditor Dave Yost announced the sentences handed down by U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.

Shane K. Floyd, 44, of Strongsville, Ohio, who served as superintendent of Arise, was sentenced to 84 months in prison. Arise board chairman Christopher D. Martin, 45, Springfield, Ohio, was sentenced to 60 months in prison and Carl L. Robinson, 48, Durham, North Carolina, who operated an educational consulting business called Global Educational Consultants, was sentenced to 78 months in prison.

According to court testimony, Floyd and Martin solicited and accepted bribes from Robinson in exchange for awarding a lucrative, unbid consulting contract to Global. Arise paid Global $420,919 over 15 months starting in September 2008 at a time when Arise was in a financial crisis unable to pay other vendors and teachers pay and benefits were cut. In exchange for the consulting contract, Robinson paid Floyd and Martin large amounts of cash and other benefits, like an all-expense -paid Las Vegas trip taken by Martin.

All three were convicted following a jury trial in May of conspiracy and with federal programs bribery. In addition, Floyd and Martin were each convicted of one count of making false statements to the FBI.

A co-defendant, Kristal N. Screven, also known as Kristal Allen, of Dayton, Ohio admitted her role as an Arise board chairman who was bribed by pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery on May 8, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Marbley. She was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

The four also face a $420,919 forfeiture, which represents the amount of money derived from the crimes.

Arise! Academy was an Ohio Community School, commonly known as a charter school, which operated with federal funds provided through the state of Ohio.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by Special Agents of the FBI and Ohio BCI, who are a part of the FBI’s Public Corruption Task Force, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Doug Squires and Peter Glenn-Applegate and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kim Robinson, who prosecuted the case.