No Verdict in $6.7M Charter School Fraud Case in Philadelphia
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By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jurors in a charter school fraud case in Philadelphia are indicating that they may be hung up on portions of the case, but the judge has told them to keep at it.
They’ve completed three-and-a-half days of deliberations, and will resume in the morning.
The foreman’s notes to U.S. District Judge Barclay Surrick look for guidance, based on the way in which four questions were framed. One of them read “can the jury not be unanimous on some counts, yet render a verdict on those counts in which the jury is unanimous?”
The judge indicated he is likely to advise jurors on points of law that focus on a partial verdict.
During the month-long trial, federal prosecutors alleged June Brown devised a scheme, beginning in 2005 to defraud the 4 charter schools she founded of $6.7 million in taxpayer funds. They claim through 2012, Dr. Brown then conspired with two former administrators – her co-defendants – to obstruct justice and cover it up.
Defense lawyers told jurors the government appeared to be obsessed with her compensation, which they said was not excessive at schools with such high test scores and academic results.