Dallas

Dallas Charter School CEO Convicted in Kickback Scheme

A Dallas charter school CEO was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for her role in a kickback scheme

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A Dallas charter school CEO was sentenced Thursday to more than seven years in federal prison for her role in a corruption scandal, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox says.

In October, a jury found Nova Academy CEO Donna H. Woods, 65, guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater sentenced Woods to 87 months in federal prison and ordered her to pay $337,951 in restitution to the Federal Communications Commission.

Woods's co-conspirator, Donatus Anyanwu, 61, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in July. Judge Fitzwater sentenced him to 30 months in prison and declared him jointly liable for the restitution owed to the FCC.

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According to evidence presented during the trial, Woods approved the granting of an E-rate contract worth more than $337,000 to ADI Engineering, a company owned by Anyanwu.

According to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Anyanwu paid Woods $50,000 in kickbacks in return for the contract.

During the trial, prosecutors explained that when the charter school selected another contractor for E-rate, Woods filed a falsified application re-directing the contract to ADI.

Woods also let Anyanwu copy portions of the original winning bid and pass it off as his own work to ensure that ADI's bid was accepted. When ADI failed to complete the E-rate job, Woods falsely certified that the company had completed the work.

The FBI's Dallas Field Office and the FCC Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation.

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