Founders Of Epic Charter Schools Out On Bond Following Arrests

Friday, June 24th 2022, 6:45 am


There are new developments regarding the arrest of Epic Charter Schools’ founders and former Chief Financial Officer.

Related Story: Founders of Epic Charter Schools Charged With Racketeering, Embezzlement

David Chaney, Ben Harris and Josh Brock were all booked into the Oklahoma County Jail Thursday. They have since been bonded out.

In total, all three of them have been charged with 11 felony counts, including racketeering, embezzlement and presenting false claims to the state. 

The OSBI's investigation into Epic began in 2013, three years after EPIC was founded.

State Auditor Cindy Byrd calls the alleged scheme, “the largest abuse of taxpayer funds in the history of this state.” 

Chaney, Harris and Brock are being accused of funneling millions in state education funding from Epic Charter Schools to Epic Youth Services, a private management company.

Court documents allege that from 2015 to 2021, $140 million of public funds went into a private account called the Student Learning Fund.

Byrd said the suspects used the funds for personal expenses, donations to politicians and media consultants.

"They not only robbed the children of Epic, but the children of Oklahoma," said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.

The Epic School Board voted to sever ties with Epic Youth Services last year.

“This past year has been tumultuous as our newly created board and new executive leadership has worked diligently to deconstruct ten years of bad policies by the former management company,” said Epic School Board Chair Paul Campbell.