SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A Kaysville man has been indicted on Wednesday for allegedly stealing more than $2.5 million from two Utah charter schools for his and his family’s personal gain, including paying for his wife’s cosmetic surgeries.
According to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office, Cole Arnold, 39, has been charged on Wednesday, March 1, with 10 counts of wire fraud and five counts of money laundering.
Between August 2017 and June 2022, Arnold allegedly stole $2,563,348.23 from North Davis Preparatory and Ascent Academies. Arnold reportedly worked as an accountant for Academica West Services, which provides services for charter school business operations.
Representatives from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office say Arnold defrauded the two charter schools by:
- creating false invoices, bills, and credit card statements by claiming fees for school supplies, teacher salaries, and other fictitious line-item expenses
- creating false computer journal entries claiming a variety of school-related expenses
- passing the money he stole through Venmo and a bank account in the name of Upper Limit Innovation, a registered business in which Arnold was a co-owner and registered agent
Arnold allegedly used the stolen money to pay for travel expenses, concerts, his wife’s cosmetic surgeries, jewelry, furniture and home renovations.
This case was investigated by the F.B.I. Salt Lake Financial Crimes Task Force, which consists of the Internal Revenue Service’s Crime Investigation Unit, F.B.I. and the Layton Police Department.
Arnold is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, March 30, 2023, at the Orrin G. Hatch United States District Courthouse.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.