The founder and former CEO of an online public school that educates thousands of Pennsylvania students pleaded guilty last week to federal tax fraud. He acknowledged he siphoned more than $8 million from the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School through for-profit and nonprofit companies he controlled.
Nicholas Trombetta, 61, said he had used the money, among other purposes, to buy a Florida condominium for $933,000, pay $180,000 for houses for his mother and girlfriend in Ohio, and spend $990,000 more on groceries and other items.
The school, founded in Midland in 2000, had more than 11,000 students across the state when Trombetta was charged three years ago. It still has more than 9,000.
A version of this article appeared in the August 31, 2016 edition of Education Week as Founder of Pa. Online School Admits to Federal Tax Fraud