SHERMAN OAKS—A Sherman Oaks man plead guilty on Friday, February 14 for what has been called the largest charter school theft in California history.
Jeremy Landau, 49, of Sherman Oaks pleaded guilty to 12 felony charges that included misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement of monies, grand theft and money laundering. Landau admitted to property damages exceeding $200,000 and aggravated white collar crime exceeding $500,000.
Landau is a former board member of the charter school California Virtual Education Partners (CAVEP). He was arrested on the suspicion of stealing $750,000 from the school district back in 2014. The school hired a private investigator who presented the case to the district attorney which lead to Landau’s arrest.
According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Landau used his position as board member to convince other members to give him $750,000 from CAVEP’s account promising that he would return a $3 million donation by January 2014. He failed to repay any of the $750,000 to CAVEP and laundered the money by moving it between various accounts. CAVEP is an Orange County-based charter school and is funded by the state of California.
The school’s Superintendent Jessica Anderson made a statement about Landau’s actions after his arrest back in 2014.
“In the aftermath of this incident, our board of directors resigned last year and new members with greater financial and operational expertise were appointed,” said Anderson. “We have also enacted new financial controls and procedures to ensure such an incident can never be repeated.”
She added that the stolen funds were not for classroom operations and did not affect their services. Landau;s sentencing is scheduled for March 20.