School founder sentenced to 5 years for fraud
Judge also orders him to pay $3 million in restitution to victims
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