Two women charged with stealing nearly $500,000 from hair school

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Two Memphis women faced federal charges Wednesday after they were accused of stealing nearly $500,000 from the New Wave Hair Academy.

The office of H.D. Adcock and Associates, a corporation that owned and operated nine hair academies across the Mid-South, is now shut down.  A Department of Education investigation ended with two female administrators indicted on federal fraud charges.

The United States government claims that between June of 2006 and January of 2009, CEO Penny Burns and Executive Director Ruby Klyce devised a scheme to defraud the Department of Education of $464,957 from specific government grant and financial aid programs.

Counts two through 11 of the indictments outline specific dates and wire transfers of thousands of dollars.

The government claims the women falsified student information and was not really entitled to all that money.

While the Adcock offices are closed, the hair academies remain open.  They operate under new names and a new parent company that agreed to acquire the current students so they could complete their educations.

Burns now works in the marketing department in the new parent company.

In a written statement, the new parent company said, "she has had no operational, financial aid, or administrative responsibilities withy any of the former Adcock schools.  We continue to have great confidence in Penny and believe she will eventually prove her innocence."

Klyce does not work for the new parent company.

Each count carries between five and 20 years in prison upon conviction.

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