Ex-CEO at Goodyear charter school gets prison in fraud case

A former CEO at a now-closed Goodyear charter school has been sentenced to four years in prison in a fraud case.

State prosecutors said Daniel Hughes also was ordered to pay restitution for his role in the theft of more than $2.5 million from the Arizona Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Federal Communications Commission.

The Bradley Academy of Excellence abruptly closed its doors in January 2018.

Authorities then discovered the K-8 charter school had falsified its attendance records and Hughes was the architect of a scheme reporting fake students to the Arizona Department of Education to increase funding.

Prosecutors said Hughes along with school Principal Harold Cadiz and Vice Principal Joanna Vega reported 191 fake students during the 2016-17 academic year and 453 more during the 2017-18 academic year.

Hughes pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of theft before being sentenced last Friday.

Cadiz and Vega both were sentenced in 2020 with Cadiz getting nearly four years in prison and Vega getting four months in jail.

The three defendants have been ordered to pay more than $2.5 million together in restitution.

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