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Topic: FBI raids charter schools in several states
Replies: 1   Last Post: Jul 14, 2014 10:10 AM

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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
FBI raids charter schools in several states
Posted: Jul 13, 2014 6:58 PM
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From The Chicago Sun-Times, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. See
FBI raids Concept Schools in Illinois, 2 other states

By Dan Mihalopoulos

The FBI and two other federal agencies conducted raids in Illinois
and two other states at charter schools run by Des Plaines-based
Concept Schools, FBI officials said Tuesday

Search warrants were executed at 19 Concept schools in connection
with an "ongoing white-collar crime matter," said Vicki Anderson, a
special agent in the Cleveland FBI office that's leading the probe.

The U.S. Department of Education and the Federal Communications
Commission also were involved in the June 4 raids, but officials said
the warrants remain under seal, and they wouldn't give any details
about the investigation.

The raids targeted Concept schools in Illinois - where Concept has
three schools in Chicago and one in Peoria - as well as in Indiana
and Ohio.

A Concept spokesman said federal education officials had conducted an
audit recently.

But the FBI's Anderson said, "What we did was not part of any audit."

Concept was founded by Turkish immigrants and has ties to
Turkish-American groups that have hosted Illinois House Speaker
Michael Madigan and other state lawmakers on trips to their homeland
in recent years, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in December. In 2012,
Madigan visited Concept's Chicago Math and Science Academy at 7212 N.
Clark St., and praised the school in a video posted on YouTube.

After its efforts last year to open two new taxpayer-funded charter
schools in Chicago were rejected by Chicago Public Schools officials,
Concept appealed to the Illinois State Charter School Commission,
which overrode CPS and allowed Concept to open Horizon Science
Academy McKinley Park at 2845 W. Pershing Rd. and Horizon Science
Academy Belmont at 5035 W. North Ave.

CPS officials were more receptive to Concept earlier this year,
approving what will be the chain's fourth and fifth schools in
Chicago, in Chatham and South Chicago.
SIDEBAR PHOTO: Salim Ucan, vice president of Concept Schools, speaks
during the opening general session of the Illinois Network of Charter
Schools conference in December in Chicago. | Michael R.
Schmidt/Sun-Times Media
SIDEBAR: Chicago Public Schools (CPS) says no to Concept Schools, but
state commission says yes

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