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Contact: Patty Hartman

For Immediate Release
October 22, 2008
U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

615 Chestnut Street
Suite 1250
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-4476
(215) 861-8200

Two Former Charter School Execs Plead Guilty to Embezzling School Funds

PHILADELPHIA - Martha Russell, 52, of Blue Bell, PA, and Viola Bush, 49, of Lansdale, PA, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy and alteration of records with the intent to impede the proper administration of a matter within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Justice. Russell was the Chief Executive Officer of Raising Horizons Quest Charter School. Bush is Russell’s sister and was Chief Financial Officer of the school. From 2003 to 2005, the two defendants stole funds intended for the school and later attempted to hide their unlawful activities while being audited by the Philadelphia School District in January 2006.

The defendants each face an advisory guidelines sentencing range of 10 to 16 months in prison when sentenced on January 26, 2009.

This case was investigated by the United States Department of Education and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Morgan-Kelly.

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Last Modified: 12/31/2008