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Nearly $1 million from charters went to firms identified in FBI probe

Concept Schools headquarters Des Plaines. | Tim Boyle/For Sun-Times Media

Concept Schools headquarters in Des Plaines. | Tim Boyle/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 19, 2014 6:09AM



Contractors facing scrutiny in an ongoing federal investigation of Concept Schools have been paid nearly $1 million over the past three years for work at three Chicago Public Schools-funded campuses run by the Des Plaines-based charter operator, records show.

In June, the FBI raided 19 Concept Schools locations in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, including the group’s Des Plaines headquarters. Search warrants showed they were seeking records concerning Concept’s use of the federal “E-rate” program and companies hired under that program, which helps pay for high-tech upgrades.

The agents also were looking for records regarding top Concept officials, the Chicago Sun-Times reported last month.

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