According to federal documents, the recent raid conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations of the Concept Schools headquarters in Des Plaines, Illinois targeted several of the operator’s high-ranking administrators as well as companies that are believed to be closely tied to Concept.
In June, the Bureau raided 19 Concept facilities throughout the states of Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana as part of an ongoing crackdown on white-collar crime. Search warrants that were served by agents show that the investigators involved in the raids were searching for several types of documents regarding Sedat Duman, the president of Concept School, as well as Concept’s founder Taner Ertekin and a number of other executives of the charter network, both current and former.
FBI investigators were also looking for documents regarding companies that Concept Schools hired to carry out tasks under the federal government’s E-Rate program which provides funding to schools for the enhancement of their internet and other telecommunications capabilities. Concept currently has 30 publicly financed schools, four of which are in Illinois. Two additional schools have been approved by Chicago Public Schools for the 2014-2015 academic year for the city’s South Side.
As benign as all of that may sound to the layperson, the FBI is not looking at Concept’s schools themselves but rather at how it operates. A grand-jury subpoena was sent to Concept in May of this year, which gave the administrators there until June 17th to provide the requested records and documents.
However, a federal judge in Chicago gave approval on June 4th authorizing three warrants for investigators to raid Concept’s headquarters in Des Plaines, almost two full weeks before the original deadline for Concept to turn over the requested material.
According to FBI officials, all of the desired documents have been seized and sealed from the public and Concept officials have stated that they are fully cooperating with the FBI investigation.