Ex-principal of West Valley charter school sentenced to prison over enrollment fraud

Officials with the Arizona Attorney General's Office announced that the former principal of a charter school in Goodyear will spend 3.75 years in prison over an enrollment fraud scandal.

Since 2018, FOX 10 has reported on Harold Cadiz and problems associated with the now-shuttered Bradley Academy of Excellence, which was also known as Discovery Creemos Academy and Bradley Creemos Academy.

The charter school, which was attended by Jesse Wilson, a 10-year-old who went missing in July 2016 and whose remains were found in 2018, closed without warning in January 2018. In January 2019, Cadiz and school registrar Joann Vega were indicted for fraud by a grand jury.

According to a statement released by officials with the Arizona Attorney General's Office on Sept. 14, Cadiz, in addition to his prison sentence, will also have to pay restitution in the amount of $2,578,722 for his involvement in enrolling fake students to obtain funding from the Arizona Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"It was discovered that for the 2016/2017 school year, Bradley Academy included 191 fake students in its reported enrollment of 652. For the 2017/2018 school year, which was cut short by the school’s closure in December of 2017, Bradley Academy included 453 fake students in its reported enrollment of 528," read a portion of the statement.

Cadiz, according to the statement, will be placed on five years of supervised probation when he is released from prison.

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