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Charter school CEO gets three years for embezzlement

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

by Holly Otterbein for NewsWorks

The former CEO of a Philadelphia charter school was sentenced to three years in prison Monday for stealing funds from the school.

Masai Skief, 32, pleaded guilty last year to embezzling $88,000 from the Harambee Institute of Science Technology Charter School and a related nonprofit, the Harambee Institute. After signing the plea agreement, prosecutors said, Skief kept stealing money from the Harambee Institute. In all, he took an extra $12,000, they said.

Prosecutors said that led them to ask for a longer sentence than the 21 to 27 months that they originally sought.

"He just continued to help himself to money for men’s clothing, for his girlfriend. He got a hotel room for her. He had his car repaired," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Louis Lappen. "He basically just treated the institute’s money as his personal piggy bank."

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

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