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Charter School Employee Pleads Guilty To Stealing Close To $2.2 Million From The Government

A charter school employee created fake documents for more than 450 fake students, stealing more than $2.2 million from the federal and state governments.

Harold Cadiz helped the Bradley Academy charter school in Goodyear create more than 450 fake students, in an effort to increase funding.

The school then closed abruptly in 2018, right after the state Department of Education announced an audit. 

According to the state Attorney General’s Office, Cadiz created hundreds of fake documents in preparation for that audit, including birth certificates, driver’s licenses and immunization records.

Cadiz is the second person to take a plea deal in this case. Daniel Hughes, the Bradley Academy's chairman and director, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and theft in 2018 and has yet to be sentenced. 

Under the plea deal, Cadiz faces between three and 12-and-a-half years in prison — plus up to seven years of probation.

Scott Bourque was a reporter and podcast producer at KJZZ from 2019 to 2022.