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Another Guilty Plea In Philadelphia Charter School Fraud Case

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Philadelphia charter school operator has admitted to misusing more than a half-million dollars intended for his school.

Hugh Clark, 65, the former board chairman at the New Media Technology Charter School, pleaded guilty in federal court to 28 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, and theft.

Assistant US attorney Joan Burnes says $522,000 in taxpayer money was meant to be used for the students of the school in Germantown.

"Instead, defendant Clark and his co-conspirator funneled that money to Lotus Academy, a private school that he controlled, as well as the Black Olive health food store, the Black Olive Restaurant, and Tekhen Enterprises, which is another company he controlled," Burnes tells KYW Newsradio.

Ina Walker, the school's former CEO, pleaded guilty in January to the same charges (see previous story).  The school has cut its ties with both Clark and Walker.

Sentencing is set for July.  Clark is free on bail.  He had no comment after the guilty plea.

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