A former administrator and a former teacher at the Sunrise Academy in Hilliard have been charged with theft, accused of fraudulently pocketing tens of thousands of dollars from the Islamic charter school.
Hilliard Division of Police officers arrested Leah V. Mohiuddin, 55, of Saffron Drive in Marysville last week at her place of employment in Marysville, Lt. Ron Clark said.
Mohiuddin, the former director of Sunrise Academy, is charged one count of theft, a third-degree felony, one count of theft, a fourth-degree felony, one count of tampering with records, a third-degree felony, and forgery, a third-degree felony.
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Casey L. Goleb, 38, of Worthingtonwoods Boulevard in Powell. The former teacher at the academy has been charged with one felony count each of theft and tampering with records.
Clark said a warrant has been served to Goleb.
He was not arrested but will be required to appear in court to answer the charges at a yet-to-be determined time, Clark said.
"It's an active investigation," Clark said, but police do not anticipate any other individuals being charged in connection with the case.
Mohiuddin was arraigned May 24 in Franklin County Municipal Court. A judge set a $75,000 bond.
Mohiuddin posted bond, according to court records, and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in municipal court at 9:30 a.m. Friday, June 2.
"It's a complex case," Clark said of the more than three-year investigation led by Hilliard detective Robert Seum.
The investigation delved into financial discrepancies that occurred between 2008 and 2013, Clark said.
The Sunrise Academy school board's chairman contacted Hilliard police in December 2013 when he discovered that his signature had been forged on Mohiuddin's contract.
An audit eventually discovered that Mohiuddin paid herself $39,481 in extra salary between 2010 and 2013, court records show.
In addition, an accountant traced to Mohiuddin $28,815 in unauthorized ATM withdrawals and $14,385 in unauthorized gift-card purchases, court records show.
"Our detectives did a lot work during the past three years researching to see who took money and where it went," Clark said.
The investigation also revealed that Goleb was given a contract with Hilliard City Schools for an English Language Learner program at Sunrise Academy. But the academy's board discovered that the ELL program was never offered.
Records showed that Goleb and Mohiuddin submitted false documentation to Hilliard City Schools, fraudulently receiving $198,746 in payments from 2010 to 2013 for salary and benefits.
However, the district has lost no money, said Stacie Raterman, a district spokeswoman.
"The money wasn't ours," she said.
Rather, it was money from the Ohio Department of Education for the program that passed through the district to Sunrise Academy, as required by law, she said.
Although Goleb technically was an employee of the Hilliard district when he was at Sunrise Academy, he never was based at any Hilliard school buildings, Raterman said.
"We were aware of the investigation since day one and provided all the (requested) financial records for Hilliard police and the state auditor's office," she said.
Sunrise Academy, 5657 Scioto Darby Road, was established in 1996 as the first full-time Islamic charter school in central Ohio. It serves students from pre-kindergarten through the eighth grade.
ThisWeek reporter Kevin Corvo contributed to this story.