Closed online charter school owes $117M to state of Ohio, auditor says

ECOT founder Monthly bill Lager speaks at a rally at the Ohio Statehouse in 2017. Point out Auditor Keith Faber said the Digital Classroom of Tomorrow owes Ohio extra than $117 million.

The Digital Classroom of Tomorrow – an on-line constitution faculty that abruptly closed in January 2018 – owes the state much more than $117 million, a recently unveiled point out audit located.

Ohio Auditor Keith Faber on Tuesday claimed the college owes $106.6 million to the point out Office of Training and an additional $10.6 million to the Attorney General’s place of work. Faber’s auditors found that ECOT wasn’t entitled to some of the state funds it been given in 2016 and 2017 and none of the hard cash it been given in 2018.

William Lager started ECOT in 2000 and designed it into the premier online constitution faculty in Ohio. Lager also operated Altair Mastering Management Inc and IQ Innovations LLC, which contracted with ECOT to offer assist providers.

In 2016, the Ohio Section of Schooling decided that ECOT had been overstating the number of pupils it served and the condition demanded repayment of $80 million. That induced a money demise spiral for the university, which abruptly shut its digital doorways in January 2018.

In Might 2018, then-state Auditor Dave Yost issued a blistering report on the operation and referred the audit to county and federal prosecutors for possible investigation.

Alyssa Ruff, 10, 4th grader from Canton along with her brother Jordan, 13, 7th grader, left, cheers during an ECOT rally in May 2017. The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow closed in 2018 and now faces legal proceedings and investigations. State Auditor Keith Faber said ECOT owes Ohio more than $117 million.

Alyssa Ruff, 10, 4th grader from Canton alongside with her brother Jordan, 13, 7th grader, left, cheers throughout an ECOT rally in May well 2017. The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow shut in 2018 and now faces legal proceedings and investigations. State Auditor Keith Faber stated ECOT owes Ohio more than $117 million.

In February 2019, the FBI and U.S. Division of Justice subpoenaed approximately 20 several years of marketing campaign contribution documents for the Digital Classroom of Tomorrow — an indication that the now-shut on line constitution university and its crucial players have come less than federal legal investigation.

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A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Ken Parker did not immediately respond to a request for comment on any ECOT investigation.

Authorized proceedings versus ECOT, Lager and other individuals are ongoing. In May, a Franklin County Prevalent Pleas Court reported Lager’s businesses personal $161.6 million.

Laura Bischoff is a reporter for the Usa Now Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated information companies across Ohio.

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This article initially appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: ECOT owes Ohio $117 million to the condition for cash improperly received