FBI raids 19 Gulen-affiliated charter schools

The FBI conducted raids on June 4 at 19 Concept charter schools in Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Photo from the Twitter account of Bilal Eksili, identifying people from left to right as Suleyman Tuhanogullari, president, Turkish-American Federation of the Midwest; Salim Ucan of Concept Schools; Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago; Bilal Eksili, founder of the Indiana Math and Science Academies; and Tamer Copuraglu, president, Turkish-American Chamber of Commerce

The search warrants were executed in connection with an “ongoing white-collar crime matter,” the Sun-Times quoted Vicki Anderson, a special agent in the Cleveland FBI office that’s leading the probe, as saying. The US Department of Education and the Federal Communications Commission were also involved.

Last year, the Chicago school board approved two new charter schools to be run by Concept Schools, but two were already in operation in the state. Charters for the two existing schools were rejected by the board the year before, but that decision was overruled by the Illinois State Charter School Commission.

Concept runs schools in Chicago, Peoria, St Louis, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Michigan, but most of their schools are located in Ohio (Toledo, Columbus, Cleveland, Youngstown, and Dayton). The headquarters is in DesPlaines, Ill. The group has been associated with the Turkish Gulen movement, which has ties to several charter schools in several different states. For a list of schools, including two in Maryland and four in Illinois, see the website, here.

The schools have posted a few academic awards. The Chicago Math and Science Academy, for example, made the list of Honor Roll Schools from the Illinois State Board of Education in 2008, and two schools in Ohio, the HSA Columbus High School and the Horizon Cleveland High School, were named national Blue Ribbon schools by the US Department of Education in 2008 and 2012, respectively. The school model focuses on education in the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Warrants are sealed, but some info is coming to light

Some bloggers, such as Tim Furman, here, have suggested authorities may be looking for evidence of visa fraud. The organization is known for obtaining H1B visas from the US government for teachers, including teachers of English, to support Turkish partner organizations. Some people also believe the federal and state money funneled into the schools supports an Islamist campaign to take over the government of Turkey or turn it into a nation that follows Sharia law.

The US schools have become infamous for their failure to promote women (video), their failure to hire US citizens to work even in low-end jobs, and their failure to be transparent when it comes to reporting the finances or academic progress of their students.

For more information, please refer to Doug Martin’s eye-opening book, Hoosier School Heist, available here, and pay special attention to pp 114-124.

The FBI also raided charter schools affiliated with the Gulen movement in Louisiana a year and a half ago, as seen here. Even going back to 2011, reported in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, here, charter schools associated with the Gulen movement in Turkey have been suspected of criminal activity in the US.

About the Author

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more biographical information, see the About page.

3 Comments on "FBI raids 19 Gulen-affiliated charter schools"

  1. Thanks for posting this, Paul, and for mentioning my book.

  2. Doug: Your book was well researched. Keep up the good fight.

  3. PashaGulen | Jun 25, 2014 at 11:05 am |

    The Gulen Movement, or sometimes called Cemaat or Hizmet, is like a dirty cancer. Obviously they have a protective hand over them in the USA and worldwide. Otherwise their mediocre teaching skills would not have allowed them to open all these schools. The CIA Gladio B program uses them as a false front in many countries to create friction with this so called “moderate Islam”, however the Gulen Movement was never embraced in secular democratic Syria and many other Islamic countries that are onto what the CIA is up to. 3 days before ISIS broke out in Iraq, Gulen Schools were evacuated. Prior to the US invading Iraq, Turks were never allowed to have schools in the area, the Gulen businessman TUSKON benefited off of the invasion of Iraq with over 100 contracts awarded to them worth $11.8 billion building hospitals, government offices, and schools (surprise surprise). They also were allowed to open schools in Afghanistan soon after the USA invaded and are part of the Heroin poppy seed drug trade that funds the CIA war chest of toppling more governments and putting in American puppets. They are heavily embedded in African countries and have profited off of mining, textile mills, and other businesses. Nigeria (the Turkish Airline was caught 2 months ago shipping arms to Nigeria), Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal and more extracting whatever they can from Africa and building the largest Mosque in the Southern Hemisphere in South Africa.

    This investigaton may never go anywhere in the USA because of the CIA program they are a part of, the FBI wants them bad but CIA has a hands off policy. Yet the Gulen Movement continues to extract millions of US Taxpayer money intended to educate children, grants, and loans. They must be stopped, I am no fan of Erdogan but many theorize Erdogan is around long enough to dismantle the Gulen Movement. Their money and power in Turkey has nicely been cut off — one of their head money men in the USA Adem Arici was sentenced to federal prison on 12/9, 2 days before the FBI raid on their Louisana operations. The saga continues, America wake up. http://www.gulenpoliticians.blogspot.com “You touch it you burn”

    – A. Sik

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