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School executive director allegedly embezzles $1.38 million

June 03, 2009
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The former executive director of the now closed Heart of the Earth Charter School is charged with eight counts of felony theft by swindle for his role in the disappearance of $1.38 million, according to the Pioneer Press.
Joel Pourier, who falsely claimed he had earned a master''s degree in business administration from Chadron State College, made it appear that he was being paid for performing cleaning work for the school, the story stated.
According to the complaint filed by the Hennepin County attorney''s office, Pourier explained the money by saying he and his wife were receiving gaming proceeds as members of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which was not true.
In all, the complaint lists 124 canceled checks or fund transfers from the school''s account to Pourier''s accounts from August 2003 through July 2008, the story noted.
According to the story, Pourier, who often forged the signatures of board members and school administrators, was living lavishly and running up thousands of dollars in charges at local nightclubs while the school lacked money for field trips, supplies, computers and textbooks, eventually forcing its closure last summer.
Pourier is being held in jail on $25,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court July 30, the story added.
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