Thursday, December 10, 2015

Principal Takes $700,000 From Students

by Gary Snyder

A former principal at Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's reform school district and two others have been indicted by a federal grand jury on a slew of charges, including bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and tax evasion.

Principal Kenyetta Wilbourn Snapp and two contractors was filed in federal court. It is the latest black eye for the struggling Education Achievement Authority and portrays Snapp, a once high-rising, Maserati-driving principal known for carrying a bat in school hallways, as pocketing more than $58,000 in kickbacks.

Snapp hired a contractor to provide after-school tutoring for almost $700,000, according to court records and state documents.

Several other school officials are also under FBI scrutiny.
Charged alongside Snapp are:
  • Glynis Thornton owner and operator of Southfield-based M.A.D.E. Training & Consulting Inc., also known as Making a Difference Everyday. The company offered to provide public schools with after-school tutoring.
  • Paulette Horton an independent contractor who worked for Thornton and had her own consulting firm called Picking Up the Pieces Inc.
From October 2012 to October 2014, Thornton's firm was paid $695,634, according to state records. In return, Thornton paid Snapp kickbacks, according to the indictment.

Thornton disguised the payments by writing checks to Horton's company instead of paying Snapp directly, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Horton allegedly cashed the checks and gave the money to Snapp, the indictment alleges. Horton kept 10 percent of the cash and gave $58,050 to Snapp, according to the indictment.

Snapp occasionally even went with Horton to the bank and waited for her to cash the checks.

Snapp allegedly failed to report more than $26,000 worth of income during 2012 while Horton is charged with failing to file individual tax returns for 2011. (crainsdetroit)

The Detroit Public Schools district is $515 million in debt.

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