What to Know
- The former president of the Milwaukee Public Schools board of directors is accused in a bribery scheme involving a Philly-based company.
- Michael Bonds allegedly accepted kickbacks from executives of Universal Companies, which operates charter schools in Philly and Milwaukee.
- The company was co-founded by music legend Kenny Gamble. Gamble was not charged or implicated in the scheme.
The former president of the Milwaukee Public Schools board of directors is accused in a bribery scheme involving executives at a Philadelphia-based charter school company that was co-founded by famed music producer and songwriter Kenny Gamble.
Michael Bonds was indicted in federal court in Philadelphia Thursday on charges of bribery and conspiracy. He allegedly accepted kickbacks from executives of Universal Companies. Philly music legend Kenny Gamble helped launch the company, which operates eight charter schools in Philadelphia and three in Milwaukee.
The kickbacks were in return for votes beneficial to the company between 2014 and 2016, investigators said.
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The complaint says executives used fake invoices to make payments totaling $6,000 to African-American Books and Gifts, a company purportedly created by Bonds. Authorities say Bonds received “things of value,” but did not elaborate.
Two executives of the company, former president and CEO Rahim Islam and chief financial officer and acting CEO Shahied Dawan, were both implicated in the scheme but not charged. Dawan was placed on administrative leave, a spokesperson with Universal Companies told NBC10.
Gamble was neither implicated nor charged.
Bonds could face up to ten years in prison if convicted. He also may be ordered to forfeit $18,000 in bribes.