CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty says a grand jury has indicted 10 people and 13 companies for monies totalling $1.8 million.
They include board members of the Cleveland Academy of Scholarship, Technology and Leadership Enterprise, known as CASTLE.
CASTLE, at 1729 Superior Avenue, operates under a charter granted by the Ohio Department of Education and is governed by its Board of Directors. It's a small, structured school serving about 300 students enrolled in grades 9-12.
According to McGinty, between July 1, 2004, and June 14, 2010, payments were made to 13 shell companies owned by or affiliated with five CASTLE board members or officials which were not supported by documentation.
State Auditor David Yost issued 19 findings for recovery totaling $1,850,489.
William Peterson, 43, of Dayton, was the CEO of CASTLE while at the same time he had an undisclosed ownership and/or financial interest in the following companies: Educational Management Alliance, Kids 2000, Leadership Training Institute, Cross Tech EduServe, and 2K2 Technologies.
According to the indictment, he used these companies to launder approximately $858,000 from CASTLE.
Thomas Unik, III, 52, of Cleveland, served as CASTLE board chairmen and was partial owner of Sunshine Limited Partnership/Superior Lofts through which CASTLE leased its facilities.
According to the indictment, from 2004 through 2010, CASTLE paid $478,785 in excess of the stated lease terms with no evidence of additional arrangements or board approval for the excess payments.
Stanley Jackson, 38, of South Euclid, served as a CASTLE board member and had an ownership and/or financial interest in Comprehensive Consulting, Juggernaut, and Fiscal Management Services. According to the indictment, CASTLE issued 30 checks to the companies totaling $200,000 without evidence that goods or services were provided.
Claudette Williams, 34, of Cleveland, was the president of Comprehensive Consulting and according to the indictment along with Stanley Jackson, withdrew cash from the Comprehensive Consulting Bank account on several occasions.
Rolando Peterson, 41, of Shaker Heights, is Williams' brother and served as CEO of CASTLE. According to the indictment, during the period of 2004 through 2010, he laundered and stole $8,829 from CASTLE.
David Lembo, 45, of Solon, was the owner of North Coast Real Estate Management and negotiated the lease for CASTLE with William Peterson. According to the indictment, on five separate occasions, Lembo gave kickbacks to Peterson totaling $6,425.
Dennis Stewart, 65, of Dayton, served as a business associate of William Peterson and had an ownership interest in Educational Management Alliance, Kids 2000, and ELMO. According to the indictment, through these shell companies he laundered and stole $367,344 from CASTLE.
Carl Shye, 58, of New Albany, was the treasurer of CASTLE from July 2006 through June 2009. Through his position as treasurer of CASTLE, he laundered and stole $144,905 from CASTLE.
Dale Qualls, 51, of Dayton, owned Qualls Auto Center and sold a school bus to CASTLE for approximately $20,000. According to the indictment, he subsequently gave a kickback of $5,000 to William Peterson.
Diana Peterson, 44, of Dayton, along with her husband William Peterson, owned Kids 2000. Together, according to the indictment, they laundered and stole 33 checks from CASTLE totaling $106,625.
The 32-count indictment includes charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy toengage in a pattern of corrupt activity, theft by deception, money laundering and unlawful interest in a public contract.