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FBI Raids Celerity Charter School Network

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Federal agents assisted in the raid of a network of Los Angeles charter schools on Jan. 25, as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of criminal activity including fraud and fiscal malfeasance.

The raid at the South Los Angeles offices of Celerity Educational Group at 2069 W. Slauson Ave. involved multiple agencies, Laura Eimiller of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office said.

Celerity Educational Group manages seven schools in Southern California including charters in Brentwood and Century City and the San Fernando Valley. The schools are publicly funded but privately operated and exempt from regulations that govern traditional schools.

“We and our partners were seeking evidence based on allegations of criminal activity,” Eimiller said.

The alleged criminal activity included fraud and fiscal mismanagement, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials confirmed to The Times that they had been alerted that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles was going to oversee the serving of a search warrant on Celerity’s offices.

Federal agents swarmed the organization’s offices, collecting laptops and copying data from computers, an employee told The Times.

“Celerity has been informed of this investigation and looks forward to cooperatively addressing any concerns raised by the investigating agencies,” said Stefan Friedman, a Celerity spokesman, in a prepared statement. “Regardless, Celerity will continue to pursue the high educational standards of which it has always been proud.” The warrants for the raid are under seal, meaning federal officials have not explicitly informed Celerity representatives of the nature of the allegations they’re investigating.

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