Thursday, August 25, 2016

Cyber charter's former CEO agrees to plea deal in criminal case

Cyber charter's former CEO agrees to plea deal in criminal case
The disgraced former CEO and founder of Beaver County-based Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, the state's largest cyber charter, reluctantly admitted in federal court Wednesday that he turned it into his personal ATM and withdrew about $8 million.
Nick Trombetta, 61, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service from collecting income taxes. He faces up to five years in prison.
Trombetta was charged in 2012. The school was audited and came under additional scrutiny. Former Mt. Lebanon School Board President and currently the Girls Volleyball coach, Joe Rodella was under fire as written in this article. PA Cyber connections prompt inquiry

Video connections
For help outfitting 735 Midland with videoconferencing technology, PA Cyber turned to Sharpsburg-based RoData Inc. That company's president is Joseph Rodella, who reported having a 40 percent interest in the firm on his financial disclosures filed with PA Cyber. Mr. Rodella was a PA Cyber board member from 2008 to 2011. 
Purchase orders provided by PA Cyber in response to the Post-Gazette's right-to-know request include four in which the charter school hired RoData to equip 735 Midland with videoconferencing technology, for a total of $92,733. That's a fraction of the $4 million in work RoData did for PA Cyber from 2005 through this year. 
No effort was made to conceal Mr. Rodella's involvement. Purchase orders from 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 list him as the contact person the school should call with any questions. 
"That's a pretty in-your-face approach," Mr. Weiss said.
No word on the outcome of that investigation.

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