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Former Obama White House adviser pleads guilty to wire fraud for stealing over $200,000 from charter schools he founded

Former Obama White House adviser pleads guilty to wire fraud for stealing over $200,000 from charter schools he founded
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Seth Andrew, 42, has been arrested and charged with wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements to a bank, according to court documents. Andrew has previously pleaded not guilty to the charges in connection with the allegations.

He now faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for electronic fraud and has agreed to pay the charter school network for the money he stole, according to a news release in the Southern District of New York.

“Seth Andrew, a former White House counsel, today admitted to plotting a robbery from the same schools he helped create,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a press release. “Andrew now faces a sentence in federal prison for abusing his position and robbing those he promised to help.”

A former White House adviser to Obama is due to be sentenced in Manhattan federal court on April 14.

Andrew’s attorney, Edward Kim, said in a statement that “Seth’s life has always been driven by a civilian mission and he deeply regrets his past mistakes. He has bravely accepted responsibility for them. 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.”

As CNN previously reported, prosecutors said Andrew helped set up a network of charter schools in New York City in 2005, left the network in 2013 for a job with the US Department of Education, and later became a senior counselor in the Office of Education Technology. at the White House, where he continued to be paid by the charter school network. Prosecutors say Andrew left his White House role in November 2016 and cut ties with the school network in January 2017.

According to a criminal complaint filed on April 20, prosecutors alleged that between March and August of 2019, Andrew used his previous association with the schools network to steal $218,005 in school reserve funds by using his school-related email address to email a bank employee and convince them that he still Associated with the school, which he was not.

The complaint stated that after the alleged theft of School Network funds, Andrew attempted to “hide the source of the stolen funds … and make it appear that the stolen funds belong to a non-profit organization Andrew founded, and appear to be currently in control…”

Prosecutors alleged that Andrew allegedly “legally controlled” the funds in order to obtain a reduced interest rate mortgage for a Manhattan apartment.

CNN’s Sonia Moggi contributed to this report.

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