Escambia County

Wyche arrested

June 9, 2009

Perennial candidate John Wyche has been arrested and charged with the misappropriation of almost $480,000 in state funds intended for use by Life Skills Center, a local charter school that was closed last summer.

Wyche, president and director of the not-for-profit Escambia County Community Land Trust, Inc. and its treasurer, Orenthal J. Rembert, are charged with first degree felonies, aggravated white collar crime and conducting unlawful financial transactions. If convicted, they could be sentenced to 60 years in prison, fined $20K and ordered to pay restitution of the $480K.

According to documents filed with the Clerk of the Court, Rembert, at the direction of Wyche, wrongfully transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars of education funds from the Life Skills Charter School account to the Trust’s business accounts, where the funds were used to pay salaries to Wyche and others and to operate the Trust-owned Maison DeVille apartments.

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