Former charter school official sent to prison


Date: December 1, 2021


HOUSTON — A Missouri City man has been ordered to federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Richard Rose pleaded guilty August 17.

Today, Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal imposed a 36-month prison sentence and further ordered Rose to pay restitution of $335,439.

Rose was the founder of Zoe Learning Academy. He served in various capacities to include superintendent, CEO and chief financial officer during its operations from 2001 until it closed in September 2019.

At the time of his plea, he admitted he filed falsified governance reports through the U.S. mail to obtain charter school funds. He embezzled funds intended for the charter school's operation and used them for his personal expenses such as legal fees, a lawsuit settlement and for the purchase of a timeshare.

Rose was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

IRS-Criminal Investigation, Secret Service, Department of Education-Office of Inspector General and the FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Belinda Beek and Quincy Ollison prosecuted the case.