The management arm of 19 charter schools in the country is being investigated by the FBI. Peoria's Quest Charter Academy is one of those schools.
The probe centers on Concept Schools of Des Plaines, Illinois, which manages Quest and the others. Federal search warrants were executed at all the schools, including Quest, in the past week.
A spokeswoman for the FBI's Cleveland office will only say the probe deals with what she calls "a white-collar crime investigation" and all the warrants remain sealed.
A written statement from Quest claims officials "were searching for information on a federal program called E-Rate which provides funds to any public school with a high, low-income population to buy IT infrastructure. Quest looked into these grants but concluded we did not meet the grant qualifications and, in addition, the two school buildings we purchased already had an IT infrastructure."
Quest's statement continues, "The officials also identified certain external individuals/entities in which they were interested. Quest has done some business with two of these entities, one for computer server upgrades and the other for personnel development. These services were not paid for by Quest using grant funds."
The statement concludes: "During the time federal officials were in our building, our principal, Mr. Kuran, was with them and cooperated fully. They were very appreciative of our cooperation."