A former board member for a Newport Beach-based charter school district has been charged with stealing $750,000 in the largest charter school theft in California history.
That's also the bail amount for Jeremy Landau, 43, of Sherman Oaks, who faces multiple felony counts that could send him to state prison for 14 years and eight months with a conviction.
Landau joined the board of directors for California Virtual Education Partners (CaVEP), a school district that operates five online charter schools in California, in May 2013. A month later, he allegedly asked other board members for $750,000 from CaVEP's account with the promise of a $3 million return donation this past January, according to an Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) statement.
Other board members voted in favor of the funding scheme, but Landau allegedly laundered the money by moving it between various accounts and failing to repay any of the $750,000 to CaVEP, instead keeping the money for himself. Because CaVEP is funded by the state, Landau stole taxpayer dollars, the OCDA alleges.
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A private investigator hired by CaVEP presented the case to the OCDA last November, prompting a joint investigation by that agency's Bureau of Investigation and the FBI. Landau was arrested Monday.
He is charged with: 13 felony counts of money laundering; two felony counts of misappropriation of public funds; and one felony count of conflict of interest in a sale and purchase, with sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing over $100,000 in loss, property loss over $200,000, and fraudulent transactions over $150,000.
To make his $750,000 bail, Landau and must prove the money comes from a legal and legitimate source, according to the OCDA, which adds he is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Santa Ana.