Former charter school founder sentenced to 3 years in prison for mail fraud conspiracy

Handcuffs (WDIV)

HOUSTON – A 65-year-old Missouri City man has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery announced Wednesday.

Richard Rose pleaded guilty on Aug. 17. He was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $335,439.

Rose was the founder of Zoe Learning Academy. He served in various capacities, which included superintendent, CEO and chief financial officer during the school’s operations from 2001 until it closed in September 2019.

According to court documents, Rose admitted he filed falsified governance reports through the U.S. mail to obtain charter school funds. Officials said he embezzled funds intended for the charter school’s operation and used them for his personal expenses such as legal fees, a lawsuit settlement and for the purchase of a timeshare.

Rose is currently out on bond and will surrender to a prison facility of officials choosing in the near future.

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