School founder sen­tenced to 5 years for fraud

Judge also or­ders him to pay $3 mil­lion in resti­tu­tion to vic­tims

Albuquerque Journal - - FRONT PAGE - BY MIKE GAL­LAGHER AND RYAN BOETEL JOUR­NAL STAFF WRIT­ERS

The founder of South­west Learn­ing Cen­ter char­ter schools, David Scott Glas­rud, was sen­tenced to five years in fed­eral prison Fri­day for de­fraud­ing those schools out of mil­lions of dol­lars over nearly 15 years.

Se­nior U.S. Dis­trict Judge James A. Parker also or­dered Glas­rud to pay $3 mil­lion in resti­tu­tion to the vic­tims and serve a three-year term of su­per­vised re­lease af­ter com­plet­ing his prison sen­tence.

Glas­rud es­tab­lished South-

west Sec­ondary Learn­ing Cen­ter in 1999 and three other pub­lic char­ter schools in Al­bu­querque that op­er­ated with state and fed­eral money.

Al­most a year ago, he en­tered a guilty plea to a crim­i­nal in­for­ma­tion of nine counts, in­clud­ing mail fraud, wire fraud, theft from pro­grams re­ceiv­ing fed­eral funds and mak­ing false state­ments.

Glas­rud was the head ad­min­is­tra­tor and fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer for South­west Sec­ondary Learn­ing Cen­ter, South­west Pri­mary Learn­ing Cen­ter, South­west In­ter­me­di­ate Learn­ing Cen­ter and the South­west Aero­nau­tics Science Academy. Dur­ing that time, he stole mil­lions from the schools, ac­cord­ing to fed­eral court doc­u­ments.

One ex­am­ple of how he bilked the schools was by over­charg­ing them rent.

Glas­rud owned South­west Ed­u­ca­tional Con­sul­tants Inc., which rented a build­ing in the 9900 block of Mont­gomery NE. That com­pany charged one of Glas­rud’s char­ter schools two times the to­tal rent to use half the build­ing, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

Prose­cu­tors have said Glas­rud used his ill-got­ten gains to fund a lav­ish life­style that in­cluded rental prop­er­ties, a 26-foot boat, a Maserati, a Land Rover, a Porsche, an Audi, a 1966 Ford Mus­tang, a Shelby Mus­tang, a Jaguar con­vert­ible, a Mer­cedes and reg­u­lar trips to Las Ve­gas, Nev., where he gam­bled away hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars.

In en­ter­ing his guilty plea, Glas­rud also ac­knowl­edged de­vis­ing and ex­e­cut­ing a se­ries of other schemes to de­fraud the Char­ter Schools.

Through­out the lit­i­ga­tion of the crim­i­nal case against him, de­fense at­tor­neys in court re­ferred to their client as “Dr. Glas­rud.”

But even that was a con. David Scott Glas­rud doesn’t have a doc­tor­ate de­gree, As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Fred Fed­ereci wrote in a sen­tenc­ing mem­o­ran­dum.

His Ph.D. comes from “North­field Uni­ver­sity,” which is a phony com­pany that ped­als fake in­ter­na­tional driver’s li­censes and de­grees.

“Parad­ing as ‘Dr. Glas­rud’ is pre­sum­ably in­tended to lend grav­i­tas or in­tegrity to the de­fen­dant’s char­ac­ter or his po­si­tions in court,” the memo says. “Yet each time the de­fense has used the sham ti­tle of ‘Doc­tor’ to re­fer to the de­fen­dant, the real ef­fect has been to re-an­nounce him as an un­re­formed coun­ter­feit or scam artist.”

Glas­rud’s plea agree­ment called for him to serve be­tween 48 to 63 months in prison. Prose­cu­tors asked that he get the to­tal 63 months.

The sen­tenc­ing memo against Glas­rud raises the ques­tion about how likely he will be to pay resti­tu­tion in the case. Less than a month af­ter the FBI served a search war­rant at Glas­rud’s schools, he di­vorced his wife and trans­ferred his two most valu­able as­sets, his por­tion of a lav­ish fam­ily home and nu­mer­ous re­tire­ment ac­counts, to her, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

“The key to sig­nif­i­cant resti­tu­tion in Glas­rud’s case will largely turn on whether Glas­rud ... suc­cess­fully man­aged to shield from reach of the United States and the vic­tims ... the most valu­able as­sets his had,” Fed­ereci wrote in the memo.

As a con­di­tion of his plea agree­ment, prose­cu­tors agreed not to bring any ad­di­tional charges against Glas­rud’s fam­ily mem­bers.

David Scott Glas­rud

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