Caddo Parish School System Scammed out of Nearly $1 Million Meant for Charter Schools USA

The Caddo Parish School System has been scammed out of almost $1 million meant for Charter Schools USA.

The funds were taken by a bank out of Nigeria using a phishing scheme. The scheme took funds meant for Charter Schools USA, which operates Magnolia School of Excellence in Shreveport, as well as schools in Calcasieu Parish and throughout the state.

It is believed that during the summer break of 2018, hackers with the Nigerian bank were able to change the bank account information with the Caddo Parish School system. After the bank information was changed, $988,000 in funds meant for Charter Schools USA was instead sent to an account with the Nigerian bank.

Dr. Lamar Goree with the Caddo Parish School System stated “I’m sure you would understand that it’s not quite as easy as calling them and telling them that these dollars were deposited in error. There is some hoops we’re having to jump through and certainly we’re taking advantage of every opportunity to return the money to our citizens as quickly as we can.”

Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office has been able to locate more than $713,500 of the funds, and believe that they can find the remaining $275,000 as well.

The incident is currently being investigated by the FBI and local law enforcement. The Cado Parish School System has also planned to hire a law firm from California to help in getting back the funds.

Charter Schools USA also operates Lake Charles Charter Academy and Southwest Louisiana Charter Academy in Calcasieu Parish, as well as several other charter schools throughout the state.

Video from KTAL NBC 6

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