Evelyn Mack has pleaded guilty to federal charges of using her small private school next to East Mecklenburg High to falsely enroll foreign teens who were being sought by basketball recruiters and coaches.
Mack, who has run the school on Monroe Road since 2000, pleaded guilty this week to a felony charge of concealing, harboring or shielding unlawful aliens. She has not yet been sentenced. She faces up to 10 years in prison and is out on bond.
A federal indictment says Mack took about $1,000 per student from athletic recruiters to falsely represent about 75 foreign teens as students in Evelyn Mack Academy, which was authorized to enroll high school students under F1 visas. It says she entered false information into the Department of Homeland Security's computerized tracking system, allowing them to avoid detection by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE.
The indictment and an affidavit from an ICE agent itemize two instances that happened in late 2014 and early 2015, with the youths' identities concealed. Both eventually enrolled in different schools, the documents say, but Mack failed to update their records.
No details were provided on other cases, but the indictment says that Mack "falsely represented that approximately 75 aliens were full-time students" at Evelyn Mack Academy.
In 2016-17, state records show the academy received $25,200 in state money through the Opportunity Scholarship program that provides vouchers for low-income students to attend private schools.
The school does not appear in more recent directories or voucher reports. Court records show authorities issued an arrest warrant for Mack in February and she turned herself in March 2.
Researcher Maria Albrough contributed.
Ann Doss Helms: 704-358-5033, @anndosshelms