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    Judge sentences Broward charter school operator president for embezzling public funds

    The U.S. Marshalls took custody of Jimika Williams after her conviction on March 23 in federal court in Fort Lauderdale. (Copyright 2022 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.)

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A federal judge sentenced Jimika Williams on Thursday to 40 months in prison after she was convicted of embezzling federal public education funds that were meant to help children in need in Broward County.

    While she was the president of Advancement of Education in Scholars Corporation, a non-profit organization that operated Paramount Charter School, Williams embezzled $389,857, according to prosecutors.

    The non-profit organization was eligible to receive federal public education funds because more than 50% of the students at the charter school were eligible for free or reduced-cost lunches, according to prosecutors.

    Williams, 39, also known as Jimika Mason, used the stolen public education funds for personal expenses such as payments on a car, a private school, and residential rent, according to federal prosecutors.

    To steal the money, Williams, of Pompano Beach, used her position as president of the Florida Scholars Educational Services Corporation to make the 2015-2017 transfers from the AESC, according to prosecutors.

    U.S. Federal District Court Judge Rodney Smith sentenced Williams after a jury convicted her on March 23 in Fort Lauderdale of two counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and 18 counts of wire fraud.

    Read the indictment

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    The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.