COLUMBUS: A former treasurer to more than a dozen Ohio charter schools has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $470,000 in federal education funds from four schools over six years through an elaborate series of schemes.

Carl W. Shye Jr., 57, of New Albany in suburban Columbus, entered the plea Thursday in federal court. As part of a plea deal, Shye agreed to pay nearly $672,000 in civil findings, forfeit his certified public accountantsí license, and cooperate with the governmentís ongoing investigation.

FBI Special Agent Daniel Leeper told U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost that Shye got access to the money in a variety of ways, including writing checks that exceeded contractual work done for the schools, beefing up his salary payments and loaning money from one school to another and pocketing the repayment.

Sitting aside his lawyer in Frostís courtroom, Shye told the judge everything Leeper outlined was true. He faces up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Shye had served as treasurer for more than a dozen charter schools across the state, including in Columbus, Youngstown and Dayton. The sum cited in the governmentís case against Shye was per-pupil federal funding distributed through the Ohio Department of Education to four schools that since have closed.

Investigators continue to look into whether Shye engaged in similar activities in schools outside Frostís jurisdiction, and whether other employees of the schools might have been involved. The state has issued dozens of findings of misspending against him over the past decade, with more than $700,000 still unresolved.