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pamela strain

Ex-school chief charged with looting lunch program for needy

CHICAGO — Federal fraud charges have been filed against the operator of a suburban Chicago private school operator who is accused of looting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a school nutrition program.

The charges filed against Pamela Strain, founder of Beacon Hill Preparatory Academy, allege she failed to report the fraudulent income to the IRS.

Defense attorney Michael Monico said Thursday the charges against Strain is expected to resolved before trial. Her arraignment is set for Aug. 28.

‘њThis is a very unfortunate situation,’ќ Monico told the Chicago Tribune. ‘њShe has devoted her life to helping children.’ќ

The criminal information filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court alleges that from 2009 to 2016, Beacon Hill received more than $4 million in federal funds to provide breakfast, lunch, fresh fruit and vegetables and child care to the disadvantaged. During that period, Strain allegedly received $2 million in income from Beacon Hill. She reported $72,425, in income in her 2013 tax return, allegedly omitting about $466,000 in additional income she’d received from the school.

Prosecutors say FBI investigators found Strain was spending extravagantly at places such as Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, and at hair salons and auto shops.

Federal fraud charges have been filed against the operator of a suburban Chicago private school who is accused of looting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a school nutrition program