A businessman has been found guilty of helping to defraud 14 charter schools in Florida of almost $1 million in public funding.
The Pensacola News-Journal reports that Steven Kunkemoeller, 56, of Ohio, was convicted by a jury of racketeering and organized fraud.
According to evidence presented in a three-week trial, Kunkemoeller i for goods such as computers, iPads and furniture, then split the proceeds with alleged co-conspirator Marcus May.
Prosecutors said Kunkemoeller and May — owner of Newpoint Education Partners LLC — stole around $900,000 in public funds through the overbilling scheme.
May allegedly used his influence as the contracted manager for the charter schools to buy products on their behalf.
Instead of billing the schools at cost, May allegedly recruited longtime friend Kunkemoeller to form a shell company, draft fraudulent invoices for the products and then bill the schools at "exorbitant markups."
May is awaiting trial for his alleged role in the fraud, and Newpoint Education Partners, as a business entity, is facing a slate of charges separately. Court records indicate trial dates have not been set in either case.