Williamsburg Charter High School Former CEO Indicted

By Meredith Hoffman on April 12, 2012 6:39pm 

The founder of Believe Schools is being indicted for fraud and tax evasion.
The founder of Believe Schools is being indicted for fraud and tax evasion.
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WILLIAMSBURG—The founder of a troubled charter school network was indicted on 11 counts of fraud and tax evasion Thursday, authorities said.

Eddie Calderon-Melendez, the former CEO of Believe Charter School Network, which operates three schools in Williamsburg—including soon-to-close Williamsburg Charter High School and Believe Southside Charter School—failed to pay state tax returns for five years, the Attorney General's Office has charged.

Despite earning $1.4 million from the taxpayer-funded schools, Calderon-Melendez filed no State tax returns and then filed false returns to cover up his alleged eevasion of $70,000 in taxes, the AG's office said.

Calderon-Melendez was recently dismissed as the head of Believe Schools, but the Department of Education said his corrupt leadership—including his alleged use of school funds for his personal use, like the purchase of alcohol—helped prompt the agency to shutter schools in the network.

Williamsburg Charter High School is contesting the DOE's decision in court, on the grounds that Calderon-Melendez no longer has a role in the institution.

 Calderon-Melendez could not be reached immediately for comment.

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