Epic Charter Schools founders, former CFO arrested after nearly decade-long investigation

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Agents with the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation have arrested the founders of Epic Charter Schools and the former Chief Financial Officer on multiple felony charges.

Ben Harris, David Chaney and Josh Brock were taken into custody Thursday morning. They face charges of embezzlement of state funds, racketeering, obtaining money by false pretense, violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act, and submitting false documents to the state.

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OSBI agents began their investigation in 2013, requested by former Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin. The investigation was sparked after Fallin received a complaint from the State Department of Education involving dual enrollment.

A second request was made in 2019, after a state politician suspected misappropriation of funds.

“This has been a very complex and arduous investigation with many roadblocks causing delays in getting to the truth,” said Ricky Adams, OSBI Director. “Harris, Chaney and Brock came up with a ‘get rich quick scheme’ that lined their pockets with tax dollars that were to be spent for the benefit of Oklahoma students. The OSBI criminal investigation unraveled the intricate scheme layer by layer, in spite of a lack of cooperation, legal obstacles and delay tactics.”

Investigators with OSBI said the men used Oklahoma tax dollars in California, submitted false invoices, and illegally misused employees. Overall, the scheme cost Oklahomans $22 million dollars.

Harris, Chaney, and Brock have been given a $250,000 bond.