A local man pled guilty to 55 counts of combine charges of theft and forgery today, at the Fulton County Superior Court. Christopher Clemons, 39 was charged in two cases linked to thefts of at least $1.2 million, including money stolen from the Atlanta charter schools he helped start. Reports show that among the list of charges, Clemons spent more than $50,000 at strip clubs and wrote two checks totaling more than $70,000 to pay off two BMW vehicles. In addition more than $350,000 was transferred from two new public Fulton County charter schools to a nonprofit created by Clemons. The police named him as a suspect back in 2015 when $600,000 went missing from an Atlanta charter school.
Prosecutors brought two separate cases against Clemons. The first case which was filed in 2016, includes 48 theft and forgery charges and caused the cash strapped Latin Academy Charter School to close its doors to hundreds of students. The community suffered a great loss. The school was successful and gave low-income African American students an opportunity to receive a quality education. Latin Academy’s academic performance was ranked in the top 25 percent and exceed in excellence more than most middle schools in the area. The second case, which was filed later in September, added seven counts of theft and forgery. This created a financial strain at Latin Grammar School and Latin College Preparatory School however, both of the Fulton County schools are still open.
Christopher Clemons’s court hearing is still underway, and the judge has yet to accept the plea or give a sentence.