‘I am profoundly sorry’

The defendant addresses the court

Your Honor, I want to be unequivocal.

I am solely accountable for the decision to transfer the funds the government identified. I wish every single day that I had not done so. My actions caused harm to Democracy Prep public schools in ways that I deeply regret. I feel a constant sense of remorse and shame.

And I especially do not blame the victim. On the contrary, I have now and always have had the utmost respect for, and enthusiastic sense of pride in, the schools and organizations we founded over the past two decades and the thousands of students they serve. I continue to believe in them and their essential civic mission.

I hope that future students can learn from my mistakes and from my sincere accountability. I want to speak authentically and directly to those who I hurt - the schools, our alumni, my community, my friends, my loved ones, this court, my God - and I am profoundly sorry and ask for their forgiveness.

Your Honor, I am going to continue to reflect and become more disciplined and more mature, and this court can be certain, absolutely certain, that nothing like this will ever happen again.

In this extremely difficult moment, I especially want to thank all of those who have offered me their unconditional support and love, despite the pain that I have caused them. I promise to work every single day for the rest of my life to grow into the best father, husband, friend, professional, and citizen that I can be.

Thank you, Your Honor.

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