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Former charter school director sentenced to probation after embezzling millions

The former director of a for-profit charter school organization was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution after pleading guilty to embezzling millions of dollars and tax evasion, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Janis Bucknor, the former director of Community Preparatory Academy, an organization that ran charter schools in Los Angeles, admitted to stealing more than $3.1 million between 2014 and 2019 that was supposed to go to school operations. She instead spent the money on personal travel, restaurants, Amazon and Etsy purchases, private school tuition for her children, Disney Cruise Line vacations, theme park admissions and other Disney-related expenses.

Bucknor faced a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison.

Los Angeles Unified School District first discovered some signs of embezzlement during a routine audit conducted in 2018. In 2019, the district decided not to renew the company’s charter.

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