Author Topic: Wellspring Academy, Bob Gluhareff, Cindy Thomas, Chris Chris  (Read 12228 times)

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Offline Ursus

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Re: Wellspring Academy, Bob Gluhareff, Cindy Thomas, Chris Chris
« Reply #30 on: February 29, 2008, 04:02:26 AM »
And from The News & Observer...



Published: Jan 17, 2008 12:30 AM
Modified: Jan 17, 2008 02:25 AM

School founder kills self instead of going to prison
Martha Quillin, Staff Writer

The founder of a Christian school for troubled boys who had pleaded guilty to financial fraud and deception in its operation appears to have fatally shot himself days after he was supposed to report to prison.

Robert Serge Gluhareff pleaded guilty in April to two counts of bank fraud, one count of tax fraud, and one count of mail fraud in connection with the Wellspring Academy outside South Boston, Va. The school had many students from Raleigh when it was open. A federal judge sentenced Gluhareff to 30 months, and Gluhareff was to begin the sentence Jan. 8, but he didn't appear.

Person County Sheriff Dewey Jones said that on Friday, Gluhareff left his home in South Boston and said he was going to meet a client. When he didn't return, family members started a search.

On Sunday, Jones said, a Person County deputy came across Gluhareff's truck on the side of a rural road. Witnesses told deputies the truck had been there since at least 8 p.m. Friday. Deputies searched nearby woods and found Gluhareff's body and a .38-caliber handgun.

Gluhareff started the Wellspring Academy in the 1980s, first recruiting students from the Triangle and later enrolling students from across the country. It began as a coeducational facility but was converted to a boys school. Parents whose sons had behavioral and other problems paid tuitions of more than $40,000 per year for the residential program. Gluhareff promised a structured setting with academics, religion and individual counseling on a 510-acre farm.

On Easter weekend of 2003, Gluhareff announced the school would close immediately.

Investigators with the U.S. Postal Service, the Virginia State Police and the IRS later found that the school's finances had been a shambles for years, that Gluhareff had frequently deposited fraudulent checks from his personal account into the school's account and had withdrawn the money before the fraud could be detected. They said he would demand payment of half a student's tuition with the promise that the checks would not be cashed until the parents had amassed the money, but he deposited the checks and withdrew funds against them before the money was there.

Initially, Gluhareff faced dozens of charges. Most were dismissed when he pleaded guilty.

Jackie Mitchell Jr. was one of many parents who lost tens of thousands of dollars in tuition. He had paid in the hope that Gluhareff could help his son, then 13 and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Mitchell, a contractor who lives outside of Raleigh, said his son told him immediately that things "were not right" at the school, but Mitchell thought it was just because his son didn't want to be there.

Mitchell and other parents, who were never reimbursed for their losses, considered Gluhareff's 30-month sentence too lenient. When he learned Gluhareff had killed himself, Mitchell said, "I don't know how I feel. There was no justice done in the first place."

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« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 04:08:32 AM by Ursus »
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Offline Ursus

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Re: Wellspring Academy, Bob Gluhareff, Cindy Thomas, Chris Chris
« Reply #31 on: February 29, 2008, 04:33:58 AM »
Here is a summary of the charges from the U.S. Attorney's Office (Virginia, Western district). What he was actually convicted of was a subset of these.

Of course, what he was actually guilty of is anybody's guess, and many a parent's private nightmare.



NEWS RELEASE
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA


John L. Brownlee
United States Attorney
Heidi Coy
Public Affairs Specialist
   
BB&T Building
310 1st Street, S.W., Room 906
Roanoke, Virginia 24011
(540) 857-2250
FAX (540) 857-2180

August 4, 2006
FOUNDER OF WELLSPRING ACADEMY CHARGED WITH BANK, WIRE, AND MAIL FRAUD

United States Attorney John L. Brownlee announced today that Robert Serge Gluhareff, age 61, of South Boston, Virginia, was indicted by a federal Grand Jury sitting in Roanoke, Virginia on July 25, 2006.

Gluhareff was charged in a 36 count indictment with bank fraud, assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, mail fraud, wire fraud, perjury, and money laundering.

"Mr. Gluhareff took advantage of parents who were desperate to help their children. He was dishonest in his dealings with parents, banks, and corporations. His deceptions hurt these families financially, and the manner in which the school suddenly closed scarred these families as well," said United States Attorney John Brownlee.

According to the indictment, Gluhareff was the founder and CEO of Wellspring Academy in Sutherlin, Virginia. Wellspring Academy opened in the late 1980's, and was a residential school that was promoted as providing counseling in a Christian setting to young people with academic and behavioral problems. Wellspring Academy operated under the corporate name "The Religious and Educational Institute of Raleigh, Inc."

For a time, Wellspring Academy admitted both girls and boys. By 1997, it was a school for boys only. From 2000 to 2003, approximately 60 to 100 boys attended Wellspring Academy at any one time. Tuition during this time ranged from $43,000 to $49,000 per student.

According to the indictment, Gluhareff's wife, two sons, daughter in law, and a girlfriend all lived on the Wellspring Academy Campus and received paychecks from Wellspring Academy.

The Grand Jury has alleged that from 1999 to 2003, Gluhareff and Wellspring Academy experienced serious financial problems and didn't have the money to meet expenses.

When parents brought their sons to Wellspring Academy, they were required to pay the initial $21,500 to $25,000 tuition payment that day. Many parents did not have the funds available and were forced to apply for loans. Gluhareff would convince students' parents to write tuition checks, but promised not to deposit the checks for an agreed upon period. Gluhareff would then deposit the checks in the Wellspring Academy account, knowing that the parents' accounts had insufficient funds to cover the check.

Gluhareff would write checks on his own credit card accounts and loan accounts and deposit them into the Wellspring Academy checking account, knowing they would be returned for insufficient funds. This enabled Gluhareff to create artificially higher account balances in the Wellspring Academy checking account.

The Grand Jury has also alleged that Gluhareff would tell parents that certain tuition payments were tax deductible as "scholarship donations" if they were paid in advance. Gluhareff also asked parents to have their employers donate matching gifts to Wellspring Academy, even though Gluhareff knew the "scholarship donations" were actually student tuition payments and not charitable contributions.

Gluhareff promised parents that each student would meet individually with a licensed counselor weekly, while knowing that none of the Wellspring Academy Counselors were licensed in Virginia. To increase the marketability of Wellspring Academy, Gluhareff made false statements about the license status of the Wellspring Academy "counselors."

In July 2002, Gluhareff obtained a business loan for "The Religious and Educational Institute of Raleigh, Inc." from BB&T. Gluhareff secured the loan with a Deed of Trust on all of his land. As part of the loan agreement, BB&T required that Gluhareff's credit card debt, which was in excess of $180,000, had to be paid in full, and all credit card accounts had to be closed except one. In addition, Gluhareff was not allowed to incur additional debt. Despite this restriction, In November, 2002, Gluhareff, without consent of BB&T, obtained a loan from Beneficial Finance for $35,000 in exchange for a Deed of Trust on a portion of the same land already pledged to BB&T for the July loan. In April, 2003, Gluhareff sold timber from land securing the BB&T loan.

Gluhareff called parents on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2003, informing them that Wellspring Academy was closing and that they should pick up their sons immediately.

On August 7, 2003, Gluhareff and his wife filed for personal bankruptcy and corporate bankruptcy.

On May 24, 2006, Gluhareff appeared in front of a Grand Jury in the Western District of Virginia sitting in Roanoke, Virginia. The Grand Jury has charged that Gluhareff knowingly made a false material declaration in regards to the licensing of the counselors that worked at Wellspring Academy.

If convicted on all counts, the maximum penalty faced by the defendant is 297 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $7,400,000.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Virginia State Police, and the IRS. Assistant United States Attorney Jennie L. M. Waering will prosecute the case.

A Grand Jury indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Ursus

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Re: Wellspring Academy, Bob Gluhareff, Cindy Thomas, Chris Chris
« Reply #32 on: February 29, 2008, 04:51:07 AM »
Quote
Gluhareff called parents on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2003, informing them that Wellspring Academy was closing and that they should pick up their sons immediately.

Talk about the irony of the timing... Geez. These kids were given license to emerge from the tomb on Easter. lols
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline AuntieEm2

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Re: Wellspring Academy, Bob Gluhareff, Cindy Thomas, Chris Chris
« Reply #33 on: February 29, 2008, 03:37:31 PM »
Ursus wrote
Quote
Talk about the irony of the timing... Geez. These kids were given license to emerge from the tomb on Easter. lols
Ouch, that's funny!

Auntie Em
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Wellspring Academy, Bob Gluhareff, Cindy Thomas, Chris Chris
« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2008, 01:39:13 PM »
Yea this is Travis Glass I was going to wellspring when the closed down that wonderful Easter day. As Far as abuse from authority figures goes I don't really believe there was any (maybe some mind fucking here and there). The only abuse came from the students, but take 100 kids that dont want to be somewhere and they're gonna fuck with each other. Thats common sense.
I was sent to wellspring on my 14th birthday and was there 11 months I spent a total of 35 days in the box with many other students. I wasnt a drug addict nor did I smoke. During my time there I learned everything I needed to become the addict I became. I saw Josh Detox off crystal meth, took kevins lithium, and started smoking in the shop. I was a shithead who needed my ass kicked, not to be taken 1000 miles from home and put with a bunch of soon to be convicts.
I oftten think about the people Wellspring did help. Landon Holcom got into the Virginia Military Institute, Cunningham got multiple felonies droped, Morrow Multiple felonies dropped, And one of the smartst people I've met in my life Alex Barnes Scored an 800 on this math SATs. Barnes left with an Associates degree due to the extra classes he was taking but was kicked out with a few other people for having pot in their cars.
Wellspring sucked ass and if you can look past the fact that Bob was robbing our parents and grandparents. There were people at that school mainly Hank Irving, Lisa Grant, Alexandros Demetritous, Keith, Jerry, Chris Christianbury (6 out of 30) that were there because they truly wanted to help us kids. So in conclusion Bob, I hope your burning... Cindy don't worry there's a place right next to Bob for you to!!! Lisa and Hank I wish you the best. Pretty much everyone else GO FUCK YOURSELVES!!!!!!!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Wellspring Academy, Bob Gluhareff, Cindy Thomas, Chris Chris
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2008, 11:14:05 PM »
thx Travis. that was too real. hope your doing ok.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Wellspring Academy, Bob Gluhareff, Cindy Thomas, Chris Chris
« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2008, 06:20:28 PM »
i bet a million dollars the last post was by hank irving.

love ya hank. lol
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline fish girl

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Re: Wellspring Academy, Bob Gluhareff, Cindy Thomas, Chris C
« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2011, 01:53:10 AM »
I know this post is really old, but just now heard that Bob committed suicide. What is so crazy is that all of the crimes he got convicted of were far less harmful than what he did to some of the girls while I was going there. Does anyone have any info about what happened to the staff there. I do remember Sean, Chris, Cindy, Greta, but can't really remember any of the other staff there. I hate to say he got what he deserved, but I will say that his guilty conscious must have gotten to him. He treated some of us young girls like his girlfriends or at least tried to. His inappropriate behavior is the whole reason I left. Was not a good experience for me considering that I was rebellious and distrusting of others before I even went.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline fish girl

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Re: Wellspring Academy, Bob Gluhareff, Cindy Thomas, Chris C
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2011, 01:57:53 AM »
Quote from: "Guest"
Yeah... this is Frank Redden.. i started all of the kids leaving when i went home on a home trip and ran away... i told my parents about all the shit Joe and Sean were doing to me.. they didnt beleive me so i ran away.. i week later i called them.. and a week after that we went to Virginia Police or Social Services or something..


If you know me... or want to ask me anything call me 704-307-6380   or 704-660-9400

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hey Frank! I went to Wellspring way back in 1996 and remember Sean, but not Joe. Hate that place and Bob was a pervert. He tried to mess with several of us girls when he got us alone. I think we were the whole reason he turned it into an all boys school. If you don't mind me asking, what did Sean and Joe do to you?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Elton

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Re: Wellspring Academy, Bob Gluhareff, Cindy Thomas, Chris C
« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2012, 02:32:28 AM »
I was at Wellspring 96-97ish.... Heard about Bob.... I bet Mark is getting a real kick out the recconing... I still think of the place. Not great memories but there were some good peeps there- Greta, Matt,....
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »