Former charter director pleads to embezzlement

The former director of a Minneapolis charter school pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling more than $1 million from the school for American Indian children.

The Hennepin County Attorney's office says 39-year-old Joel Pourier of Shakopee pleaded guilty to eight felony counts of theft by swindle.

Prosecutors say Pourier forged school officials' signatures on dozens of checks and transferred money to at least six bank accounts he controlled.

A criminal complaint says Pourier spent the money on houses, cars and at strip clubs, forcing students at Oh Day Aki/Heart of the Earth school to go without textbooks, supplies and field trips. The Minneapolis School District eventually revoked the school's charter.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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