South Holland, IL. (ECWd) -
Pamela D. Strain, President, Superintendent, and an owner of Beacon Hill Preparatory Academy (also known as the Lighthouse Christian Academy) was charged yesterday with income tax fraud relating to defrauding the National School Lunch Program, and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable programs administered by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Illinois State Board of Education.
This is apparently not her first rodeo. The Chicago Tribune reported on the investigation, which led up to these charges, in 2017 (here), their report also states she has filed for bankruptcy twice, was sued by a suburban school district for walking out on a building lease, and resigned from the Chicago Public Schools after being removed from her job and placed in another position within the school. Please read that article to get a feeling of the conditions the school was in and her past work history.
From the Information Sheet filed yesterday in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois:
- In or around May 2012, Beacon Hill's nonprofit status was revoked by the Internal Revenue Service, rendering it ineligible to participate in the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Programs.
- From in or around June 2012 through in or around October 2016, defendant PAMELA D. STRAIN, knowing that Beacon Hill was ineligible to receive funds through these federal child nutrition programs, fraudulently caused Beacon Hill to receive at least approximately $600,000 in such funds.
- From in or around January 2009 through in or around October 2016, defendant PAMELA D. STRAIN received income , wages, and compensation totaling approximately $2 million from Beacon Hill. A portion of the income she received each of these years was derived from the federal child nutrition program funds Beacon Hill received.
- On or about April 15, 2014, at Chicago, in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, defendant herein, willfully made and subscribed a United States Individual Income Tax Return (Form 1040 with schedules and attachments) for the calendar year 2013, which return was verified by a written declaration that it was made under the penalties of perjury and was filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Defendant did not believe this return to be true and correct as to every material matter in that the return reported on line 22 that her total income was $72,425, when defendant knew that her total income substantially exceeded $72,425, specifically, defendant willfully omitted approximately $466,704 in additional gross income that she received from Beacon Hill, which included money defendant had caused Beacon Hill to fraudulently obtain from federally funded child nutrition programs.
Please remember these are charges and/or an information sheet, and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a Court.