The owners of a ameliorative boarding academy for adolescence amid abysmal in northwestern Montana accept agreed to pay about $1 actor to families it shut out of the academy with aloof two days’ apprehension in September 2017.
Parents who sued the Monarch Academy in Heron accused the owners of alleviative Monarch, which answerable added than $30,000 per semester, as their “personal aback bank,” captivation “shareholder” affairs in places like Hawaii and London and affairs high-end cartage like BMWs and Mercedes-Benz as aggregation cars.
In July, Monarch and its operators Patrick McKenna, Michelle McKenna and Dawn Bristol, agreed to a $925,000 adjustment with the parents who paid top dollar for their afflicted youths to arise the academy a year ago, according to annal filed in Sanders County District Court.
The names listed in cloister annal accommodate a dozen families from Los Angeles, St. Louis, Dallas and more. None listed is from Montana.
These families went afterwards Monarch in October 2017, and accept declared malpractice, aperture of contract, artifice and a abundance of added civilian accuse adjoin the now-defunct school.
“While there are abounding acceptable (alternative boarding) schools, there are others who aren’t,” said Rob Bell, one of the attorneys apery the families. “These are situations that are abounding for corruption for addition who’s a little savvy.”
According to the school’s acceptance form, Monarch answerable $30,800 per apprentice per semester, which would accommodate things like accumulation and alone therapy, academy basal classes, allowance and board, and basal medical services.
The academy opened about 2000; however, banking abstracts included in cloister annal announce the academy had been falling abysmal into the red for the aftermost bristles years. From 2013-2017, the school’s debt grew from added than $195,000 to added than $1 million.
Despite the constant growing debt, “the McKennas arise to accept advised the academy as a claimed piggybank,” the family’s attorneys wrote in cloister records.
“The added piece,” said Lance Jasper, who works with Bell at Reep, Bell, Laird & Jasper, “is aback parents seek amends in these situations, Monarch Academy claims to accept no assets and the owners seek protection.”
Disclosures in cloister annal appearance the McKennas allotment “shareholder meetings” in Hawaii, London and Las Vegas. These affairs would accommodate altercation on hiring a new analytic director, how to bazaar for greater acknowledgment and “discussion on what to do with the abrogating web sites that accumulate accepting aback on the aboriginal folio and how to explain to families.”
Tax annal showed Monarch endemic several high-dollar business vehicles, including a 2012 BMW, a 2014 Land Rover and 2017 Mercedes Benz. Within canicule of the school’s cease on Sept. 13, Patrick McKenna began alive those cartage to his own assets. On Sept. 15, for example, he filed a bill of auction with the Idaho Transporation Department accordant to pay $24,000 to Monarch Academy for the BMW. However, as the families’ attorneys noted, McKenna never appeared to pay the academy for the vehicles.
He additionally wrote himself checks consistently, including one $7,800 analysis beneath than two months afore academy closed, according to the records.
Grizzly Law in Kalispell, apery McKenna, did not acknowledgment a blast alarm gluttonous comment.
When Bell and Jasper requested to audit all abstracts pertaining to Monarch’s operations, the school’s attorneys said it would be impossible.
“… Monarch shut bottomward its arrangement and branch displace all computer adamantine drives aback it accomplished operations to ensure their acceptance aloofness and HIPAA rights were protected,” they wrote.
The Monarch Academy is one of several residential programs for agitation adolescence in sparsely busy areas of northwest Montana. The schools do not accept absolute blank by the accompaniment government, but rather through a agency fabricated up partially of industry leaders.
“We can no best sustain the cardinal of acceptance we charge to abide our work,” they wrote. “In 17 years, there accept been abounding changes at Monarch School, abounding changes in the citizenry of acceptance and families we accept been confined and many, abounding admirable bodies who accept committed their lives at Monarch School. It has been an amazing adventure that we will backpack with us for the blow of our lives. Thank you for actuality a allotment of our dream and our memories.”
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