Exclusive: Founder of NYC-based charter school chain accused of stealing $218,000+

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The founder of a chain of charter schools - based in New York - was arrested today on federal charges of stealing more than $218,000 from the school he started.

Seth Andrew, who founded Democracy Prep charter school in 2005, allegedly took the funds from an escrow account - and used it to help him get a lower interest rate for a mortgage on a Manhattan apartment.

Andrew left Democracy Prep in 2013 and worked at the White House as a senior advisor in the Office of Educational Technology. A source at the school says Democracy Prep continued to pay his health care until November, 2016. After that, his relationship with the school was severed.

But his name remained on the escrow accounts, and federal prosecutors say he withdrew the money in 2019.

The school in a statement says that the "network's finances remain strong, and at no time did any of the activity by Seth Andrew have any adverse effect on our scholars of the functioning of our schools."

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