A Vermont man who is a former Obama White House advisor and a partner in the group that purchased Marlboro College this year has been charged with wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements to a financial institution.
According to a report in the Commons, the community newspaper for Windham County, Seth Andrew, 42, as a result of the action is no longer president of Democracy Builders Fund, which bought the Marlboro College campus in 2019. He also has been removed from the board of directors of a related program, Degrees of Freedom, also located in Windham County.
According to the U.S. Attorney for Southern New York, Seth Andrew allegedly stole $218,005 from a charter school network that he founded. He was arrested this morning in New York, New York, and will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, Seth Andrew abused his position as a founder of a charter school network to steal from the very same schools he helped create. Andrew is not only alleged to have stolen the schools’ money but also to have used the stolen funds to obtain a savings on a mortgage for a multimillion-dollar Manhattan apartment. Thanks to the FBI’s diligent work, Andrew now faces federal charges for his alleged scheme.”
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “Locking into the lowest interest rate when applying for a loan is certainly the objective of every home buyer, but when you don’t have the necessary funds to put down, and you steal the money from your former employer to make up the difference, saving money in interest is likely to be the least of your concerns. We allege today that Andrew did just that, and since the employer he stole from was a charter school organization, the money he took belonged to an institution serving school-aged children. Today Andrew himself is learning one of life’s most basic lessons – what doesn’t belong to you is not yours for the taking.”
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Andrew, 42, is charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, one count of money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of making a false statement to a bank, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.