Former owner of a Macon private school claims she was defrauded
A local school in Macon faces more trouble after its former owner files a lawsuit in the Bibb County Superior Court claiming she was defrauded out of ownership of the school.
Dr. Betty Tolbert founded the Progressive Christian Academy more than 30 years ago. In 2009, she sought the help of Sunrise Enterprises run by E.T. Strickland to bail her out of money problems.Tolbert now claims in the lawsuit that the company victimized her through a foreclosure-rescue-scheme. Without her knowing, Strickland purchased her $237,000 mortgage. She claims that it is worth $1,000,000. Bibb County Commissioner and lawyer, Lonzy Edwards is representing Tolbert.
“Progressive Christian Academy has been a respected institution in this community for a long time and nobody is more loved and respected than Betty Tolbert," Edwards said.
Tolbert said she was squeezed out of the business and the property, left with nothing but $130,000 in federal and state tax debts.
"The school is effectively under the management of other persons and entities at this time,” Edwards said.
The situation got worse when the company brought in their own people. A few have criminal records. A current employee at the school who did not want to state their name said this fact concerns parents and students.
"The kids you know, they're concerned to about their wellbeing as far as you know them being around predators."
Edwards said he's confident in his client’s case and looking forward to their day in court.
"We'll just have to await the outcome of the legal process,” he said.
Just last week, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning sent agents into the school. A spokesman said they were looking at employee issues but would not comment further.