PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — He created an empire — a revolution in cyber education.
But federal prosecutors say instead of serving cyber students, Nick Trombetta siphoned off $8 million in taxpayer dollars to fund his own lavish lifestyle.
It all included a corporate plane, luxurious homes, a sprawling real estate holding and a million dollars in cash. The collective spoils of an alleged scheme years in the making.
“We alleged that this was a conscious, intentional scheme to steal public money that was to be used to educate our children.”
It’s something that Trombetta denied when he was arraigned last August.
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan: “Dr. Trombetta, how do you respond to the charges of fraud and theft?”
Tombetta’s Attorney: “We’re here to enter a not guilty plea to all charges.”
Now, Trombetta wants the charges thrown out, filing a motion claiming that prosecutors illegally recorded conversations with four attorneys giving him legal advice.
In a motion, Trombetta says two government informants recorded conference calls with those attorneys who were connected to Pa. Cyber and Trombetta’s other organization.
Trombetta says those attorneys gave him personal legal advice and that “the government’s actions constitute deliberate intrusion into protected attorney-client privilege.”
He’s asking Federal District Court Judge Joy Flowers Conti to dismiss the case or at least throw all of that evidence out.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office had no comment, but will likely argue that these attorneys worked for and were paid by the public, and we’re not hired to give Trombetta legal advice.
The trial is not expected to begin until late this summer.