One question will take center stage Monday when Masai Skief is sentenced for embezzling from the charter school he ran: Did he forfeit a chance at a lower sentence by continuing to steal money from the school - even after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud?
Skief, 32, son of the late founder of the Harambee Institute of Science Technology Charter School, pleaded guilty in federal court in August to embezzling $88,000 from the charter and from the Harambee Institute, a related nonprofit. He is the eighth Philadelphia charter school official to plead guilty to federal fraud charges.
Skief has been in federal custody since Jan. 16, when he turned himself in after admitting he violated terms of his bail by continuing to steal from Harambee.
In a court filing, prosecutors said that because of the "audacious and repeated nature" of Skief's fraud, they were seeking a sentence of at least 37 months in prison instead of the 21 to 27 months they originally recommended.
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