FBI agents on Thursday raided the office of Pennsylvania Charter Cyber School founder Nick Trombetta, who is suspected of misusing Pennsylvania tax dollars to fund his out-of-state ventures, KDKA News reports.
The FBI raided the administrative offices of PA Cyber and other ventures founded by Trombetta, including the Avanti Management Group -- a for-profit consultant firm based in Ohio.
The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, founded in 2000, enrolled more than 11,300 students in the 2011-12 academic year and has an annual budget of more than $100 million. Critics say the $10,000 the school receives for each child far exceeds the cost of educating a student online, and that the excess money has gone to other Trombetta ventures such as the National Network of Digital Schools and the Lincoln Interactive, which develops and markets online curriculum.
These ventures have spawned cyber schools nationwide, and a federal investigation is now underway to determine if Trombetta personally profited.
According to the Herald Star, Trombetta and several educational organizations under his oversight have been the subject of state grand jury investigations in the past. These include the Midland School District -- of which he was the superintendent, PA Cyber, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center and the National Network of Digital Schools in Calcutta.
Trombetta announced in May that he was leaving the school to "try something else," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.