The school thought they had hit the jackpot when a mysterious “millionaire” turned up with a huge financial gift just before christmas of 2015.
New York Post reports that The High School for Enterprise, Business and Technology in Brooklyn received a cheque for the huge sum and, as a matter of protocol, forwarded it to the Department of Education, which went on to provide funds from the generous 'gift' to the 1000-student school, enabling them go on a spending spree.
Shortly after his donation, Diaz Romero was brought in, when teachers were being trained on using smart boards, and was introduced to them as “our benefactor Dr. Diaz.”
Sources said he claimed to be related to one of the students, explaining his philanthropy. At his urging, the school also started a stock-market game to hone students’ financial skills.
After the initial cheque was bounced, officials of the school were confident their donor was the real thing. After two more cheques were bounced, that prompted schools officials to contact authorities.
Principal Holger Carrillo called an emergency meeting with members of staff last week to let them know of the grand scam.
A complaint was then forwarded to Schools Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon’s office on May 27, and the commissioner referred the case to the NYPD on the suspicion of fraud, a spokesperson said.
Disappointed teachers and students now fear that they will face budget cuts because of the philanthropic scandal.
Dominick Spies, a distraught 17-year-old senior at the school told NY Post; “Sounds like a person that just uses people and don’t care about anybody else’s feelings,” Estafano Santana, 15, chimed in, “I feel like the school was robbed.”