Milw. school being investigated by state for potential fraud

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- FOX6 News has uncovered documents showing a Milwaukee school may have cheated the state. The school's administrator is denying the allegations against the school, and says the school won't be in business for much longer.

On the corner of 52nd and Hampton is a building intended to supply the building blocks of youth education.

Milwaukee's Washington Dubois Christian Leadership Academy caters to students from K4 to sixth grade.

For years, Irving Steele has lived next door, but recently noticed something a little odd.

"It's been closed at least since Friday, and I've been wondering what's going on," Steele said.

Investigators were wondering about something else.

In unsealed court documents, law enforcement officials asked the academy back in September for its 2012 student counts, financial records and other documentation.

They were looking into whether applications and associated documents for 35 students were altered, forged or fraudulent.

The state funding for those students could exceed $200,000.

Law enforcement officials were looking into whether this is a case of theft by fraud.

"I haven't heard anything like that," Steele said.

Steele knows the school's administrator.

That administrator wouldn't give FOX6 News an on-camera interview, but denied any allegations of fraud, saying investigators are looking into the records of 31 students -- adding the issue isn't about stealing from taxpayers, but rather incorrectly filling out forms or mishandling documents.

"Over the years, I've talked with him and related with him and he's been a stand up guy," Steele said.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction -- or DPI says it is involved with the investigation.

The academy plans to close its doors on Thursday, December 19th.

The school's administrator says that is due to his poor health.

"From what I've seen, he's done nothing but good things," Steele said.

DPI says it has notified Milwaukee Public Schools to assist in providing options for parents so they may enroll students as soon as possible.

There is no word on the status of the investigation into this school.