The former chief executive of Celerity Educational Group pleaded guilty Dec. 21 to a federal conspiracy charge nine months after federal agents raided the charter school network’s Koreatown office, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for California’s Central District.

Vielka Maritza McFarlane plead guilty to a conspiracy charge that she used $2.5 million in public financing given to the educational non-profit for numerous personal uses.

These included purchasing customized recumbent bicycles, thousands of dollars in leather-making equipment, shopping sprees in Tokyo and Beverly Hills, and purchasing property in Columbus, Ohio, in order to build a charter school in the Buckeye State.

McFarlane will make her first court appearance Jan. 7 on the charges.

Celerity changed its name to ISANA Academies earlier this year, after the federal raid.

The charter school network itself does not face criminal charges, and it still operates six schools split between Los Angeles and Compton.

Media and entertainment reporter Matthew Blake can be reached at (323)556-8332 or