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Arizona Charter School Director Falsified Enrollment, Raked In $2.2M

This week a former Goodyear charter school director pleaded guilty to a multi-million dollar conspiracy after lying about the number of students going to his school.

Daniel K. Hughes was director and chairman of the Bradley Academy of Excellence, also called Discovery Creemos Academy.

For two school years in a row, the school over-reported student enrollment to get more funding from the state. Both officials and employees at the school, according to the Attorney General’s Office, conspired to create the fake students until 2018.

The charter school shut down before a state audit, which revealed only 75 of the reported 528 students in the last school year were real.

Overall, the charter school raked in more than $2.2 million undeserved dollars. Hughes could face a prison sentence of 3 to 12 years.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to include another name of the charter school.

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Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.