Seth Andrew, A Former Obama White House Aide, Pleads Guilty To Devising A Scheme To Steal $218,000 From Charter Schools He Founded

On Thursday, a federal judge sentenced Seth Andrew, a former education adviser for the Obama White House, to a year and one day in prison for his role in a plot to steal $218,000 from a network of New York charter schools that he established.

At the time of Andrew’s sentencing in the United States District Court in Manhattan, he was 43 years old and received a fine of $5,000. The prosecution says that he had already paid the Democracy Prep Public Schools network $218,005 in restitution and $22,537 in forfeiture before the hearing on Thursday.

In April of 2021, he was taken into custody on suspicion of engaging in wire fraud, laundering money, and providing false information to a financial institution. He entered a guilty plea to charges of wire fraud in January. Judge John Cronan actually showed Andrew some leniency in his punishment by only handing him a total of 366 days behind bars.

However, because of the somewhat lengthier term that he was given, Andrew is now eligible for something that is known as good time credit. This means that he will most likely only serve 85 percent of his sentence, which is a little more than 10 months.

Prosecutors said that he stole money from escrow accounts belonging to specific schools that were part of a charter school network in the year 2019, more than two years after he severed his links with Democracy Prep.

Prosecutors have said in the past that Andrew used more than half of those funds to keep a certain minimum amount in a bank account. This made it possible for him and Zak to get a better interest rate on a mortgage for their property in Manhattan, which is worth more than $2 million.

The spokesman argued that Andrew had never been driven by greed and contested the reasons given by the prosecution that he had moved the money out of DPPS accounts with the intention of causing the organization any damage.

In 2013, when President Barack Obama had begun his second term, Andrew decided to work for the United States Department of Education. After some time had passed, he was promoted to the position of senior adviser in the White House Office of Educational Technology.

Democracy Prep continued to pay Andrew throughout his time as a member of the Obama administration. However, Andrew broke all relations with the network in January of 2017.

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