4 charged with $400,000 fraud from Cleveland Heights charter school

CLEVELAND - Four people have been charged with defrauding a Cleveland Heights charter school of $400,000, U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach said Thursday.

Joel B. Friedman, 65, of Mayfield Heights; Jeffrey A. Pope, 46, of Bowie, Maryland; Marianne Stefanik, 64, of Parma, and Virgil B. Holley, 51, of Cleveland Heights were named in an indictment that accused them of using fake invoices to take money from the Greater Heights Academy.

According to authorities, Friedman, who was the chairman of the school, paid R&D International, a consulting company owned by Pope, for services that were not performed. Holley worked for Pope and Stefanik worked for Friedman; both helped in the scheme.

The four were charged with wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to launder money.

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