Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityJuan Cabrera, Dori Fenenbock accused of defrauding investors in launching online school | KFOX
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El Paso ISD superintendent, former school board president named in lawsuit

Juan Cabrera and Dori Fenenbock (Credit: El Paso Independent School District){p}{/p}
Juan Cabrera and Dori Fenenbock (Credit: El Paso Independent School District)

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Allegations surfaced in the Fall against the superintendent of the El Paso School District and a former school board president.

El Paso ISD superintendent Juan Cabrera and former El Paso ISD school board president Dori Fenenbock are accused of defrauding millions of dollars from investors while launching an online school.

The lawsuit obtained by KFOX14 was filed last month in San Diego County Superior Court.

The lawsuit stems from a criminal case in California that includes the original investors in the Texas-based online school.

Cabrera and Fenenbock approached a charter school company in California in 2018 with plans to develop a for-profit school, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that Cabrera and Fenenbock presented themselves as co-founders of eSchool Prep.

Cabrera promised to resign from his role as superintendent in order to secure a $5 million investment in eSchool Prep, the lawsuit also alleged.

After the $5 million investment was made, the lawsuit alleges that the original investors were forced out of the partnership then paid a settlement of only $483,000, less than 10 percent or the original investment.

The “defendants refuse to return the $5 million dollars and refuse to provide an accounting of how the money was spent” according to the lawsuit.

While the superintendent’s contract said he could consult for friends and family as long as he went unpaid, it still didn’t sit right with some EPISD trustees.

“If you are leading a public school system, and you are on the side helping charter schools, it’s a contradicting philosophy,” EPISD District 3 Trustee Josh Acevedo said.

Trustees Daniel Call and Josh Acevedo said the superintendent called them over the weekend to discuss the lawsuit, claiming once again that he didn’t receive any pay for his work.

But Acevedo said regardless, the accusations showed Cabrera’s contract needed to be changed.

“I think for accountability purposes, we need to stop allowing him to do this type of consulting,” Acevedo said.

The trustees said while the board would discuss the accusations, they wouldn’t take action unless the lawsuit provided proof.

“The board would consider disciplinary action in closed session, if there was evidence that he was receiving compensation,” EPISD District 7 Trustee Daniel Call said.

But if that evidence were to come through, some board members said Cabrera’s future with the district would be in doubt.

“Right now these are allegations that are out there,” Acevedo said. “But if there’s evidence? Yeah, I would put that on the table, to do something about his employment.”

Cabrera and Fenenbock didn’t respond to KFOX14’s questions in time for this story.

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