arents react to possible school closure during a board meeting at Latin Academy last month. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: Hyosub Shin
Photo: Hyosub Shin

Atlanta charter school’s problems grew with $600k loan

An Atlanta charter school struggling with the disappearance of more than $600,000 is now dealing with a second financial blow.

Under the leadership of the school’s founder, who is under investigation in connection with the missing money, Latin Academy took out $600,000 in loans without the school board’s authorization, according to legal and school financial records.

The terms of the loan agreements with a California finance company call for penalties of up to nearly 25 percent if the school defaults.

Latin Academy, a middle school in south Atlanta, repaid some of the money, but the company is currently suing the school over unpaid debt in federal court.

School founder Chris Clemons is also a suspect in connection with the investigation of hundreds of thousands taken from the school to pay for dinners, non-work-related travel, bonuses to employees and “personal entertainment at local night clubs,” according to a police report. An initial estimate put those losses at more than $600,000.

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