Education company disappears before paying employees – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
They are experienced educators who were promised a lot of money to teach struggling students in South Florida, but before they even got a paycheck, the online academy where they worked broke down. faded away. Kevin Ozebek of 7 investigates.
Caleb Matthews lives in California.
Caleb Matthews: “Somebody took advantage of all of us.”
Regina Dorsett and Victoria Dotson in Maryland.
Victoria Dotson: “I would like some kind of justice.”
And Nicky Floyd in New York. They are all livid.
Nicky Floyd: “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. We lost two whole months of our lives.
Earlier this year, they took remote jobs at Excel Online Academy, a company they were told was based in Miami and run by a man named David. The mission was to create a virtual learning program for students who have fallen behind during the pandemic.
Regina Dorsett: “I was like, ‘OK, this is a great program.'”
They were told that many of the children they would help were Miami-Dade County Public School students.
Nicky Floyd: “I was in this program thinking that we were doing something that was going to help people and help children achieve their dream and achieve success. »
The educators, hired across the country, got to work. They have developed word games and quizzes. Entire programs were created, many of them involving seven-day work weeks loaded with overtime. Victoria thought that at $36 an hour, it was worth the huge paycheck.
Victoria Dotson: “I would basically earn a lot more hours than I currently do as a teacher.”
But there was a red flag.
Regina Dorsett: “I taught in the Miami-Dade school system, and I know it’s a black and brown school district.”
When David sent Regina these spreadsheets of Miami-Dade students she would be helping, she grew suspicious.
Regina Dorsett: “When I see Sarah, Jack, there were a lot of Caucasian names, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God. “”
And Regina thought it was weird that David never took a phone or video call.
Regina Dorsett: “He couldn’t be reached. The only contact anyone had with David was via email.
Regina, Caleb, Victoria and Nicky then went from suspicious to outraged when their first payday on March 18 rolled around.
Victoria Dotson: ‘We’re on the 18th, and I haven’t heard a word about where that money is, where it’s going or going, etc.’
Shortly after, the Excel Online Academy website was taken down and employee email accounts were deleted.
Victoria Dotson: “So today’s business has completely disappeared. I should have made less than $20,000.
Nicky Flloyd: “They owed me $93,000. I want to like, spread the word so people know if they see something that pops up like this, be careful, because we had almost 100 past and present employees, and no one was paid.
Employees were told that Excel’s main office was located at 444 Brickell Avenue, but the building’s front desk staff said they had never heard of Excel Online Academy. We also couldn’t find the company listed in Florida business records, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools tells us, “We are not aware of Excel Online Academy and have no affiliation.”
All of this leaves ex-employees thinking this:
Victoria Dotson: “Each piece was invented. It was a scam.”
Nicky Flloyd: “It’s disheartening to know that someone would use the passion of educators and a multitude of educators who are already underpaid to run a real scam like this.”
Excel employees were informed that the program was funded by scholarships. Did Excel just take the money and stop? We’ve tried to find out, but the US Department of Education won’t say if Excel Online Academy is under investigation. Kevin Ozebek, 7News.
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