Sentencing delayed for LA charter school founder who admitted misappropriating $2.5 million

LOS ANGELES — A sentencing hearing was delayed Monday for the founder of Los Angeles charter school network Celerity Educational Group who admitted misappropriating $2.5 million in public-education funds and using the money for personal expenses.

Vielka McFarlane pleaded guilty in January to a single felony count of conspiracy to misappropriate and embezzle public funds, admitting that she used the money to pay for personal expenses including first-class air travel, fine dining and luxury goods.

The bulk of the misspent funds — which partly came from the U.S. Department of Education — was used to purchase and renovate an office building in Columbus, Ohio, where she oversaw the founding of a separate charter school, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

McFarlane also admitted improperly using public funds to pay the security deposit, rent and renovations at a soundstage and recording studio in Canoga Park, which was rarely used by students.

McFarlane’s sentencing was rescheduled

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