October 10th, 2013
According to recent reports, as of October 13th 2013, Youth Foundation Success Academy (YFSA) will be ceasing operations. WWASP Survivors has obtained an email sent to all parents by Youth Foundation Inc’s Board of Directors. This letter announces that the program is permanently closing down due to a financial crisis caused by on-going litigation with WWASP’s primary billing company, Optimum Billing LLC. known to be owned and operated by Robert Lichfield. An accompanying letter from YF Family Representative Jody Harris also mentioned alternative programs for parents to consider, including the notoriously abusive, Diamond Ranch Academy.
The complete text of the email is as follows:
As you probably know, Youth Foundation, Inc. is involved in a lawsuit with Optimum Billing Services, LLC over the collection and disbursement of funds. Youth Foundation was able to obtain a preliminary injunction allowing Youth Foundation to continue to collect all tuition payments related to its services.
However, the law requires that a bond be posted, which we are unable to do at this time. Youth Foundation has been unable to post the bond. Without the bond being posted, the preliminary injunction will not be in force.
Youth Foundation, Inc. was established as a non‐profit charity to provide support to parents and help to troubled children. Youth Foundation, Inc. intends to continue with this goal. Youth Foundation believes the School has been the best method to accomplish this goal, but unfortunately, it cannot continue under its current financial circumstances. We regret to inform you that the school will be closing on Sunday,October 13, 2013.
We apologize for this turn of events. However, Youth Foundation intends to make every effort to fulfill its purpose, even without the School, and pursue other avenues for doing so. Youth Foundation also intends to continue to pursue its legal rights as long as it can.
Board of Directors
Apparent financial disputes caused strain between Optimum Billing and Youth Foundation and resulted in the resignation of YFSA Executive Director, Jade Robinson. In August, a letter from Optimum Billing was sent out to all parents with children enrolled in Youth Foundation Success Academy describing allegations of abuse, irresponsible management and a possible closure on the horizon. This action incited Youth Foundation to pursue legal action against Optimum Billing, including a restraining order to prevent them from contacting YF parents in the future. An eviction was issued to Youth Foundation by the owner of the building, Robert Lichfield. Acting Director Chaffin Pullan attempted to move the children to a property in Hurricane, the former site of Diamond Ranch Academy. Ongoing litigation with Optimum has left Youth Foundation bankrupted and unable to sustain their school. It is unclear what this closure means for YFSA’s sister facilities RiverView Camp in Utah and RiverView Academy, located in Thompson Falls, Montana.
Following the closing, several of the displaced YFSA students were transferred to Diamond Ranch Academy, a notably abusive school with many critics and 2 confirmed deaths of children due to medical neglect. Several other children were left to the care of Chaffin Pullan and currently reside on his personal property in Hurricane Utah.
This is not the first scandal that Youth Foundation has faced. Earlier this year an incident of a student falling 60 feet down a cliff during a school field trip and a staff member being arrested and charged for showing students pornography brought Youth Foundation under fire. However, most troubling is the path that lead to the creation of Youth Foundation Inc…
Youth Foundation Success Academy’s (former) owner, Jade Robinson began working for WWASP as a low-level staff member at WWASP’s Cross Creek Manor in Utah and later Spring Creek Lodge in Montana. He then transferred to the notorious Tranquility Bay program in Jamaica before leaving to become an administrator of Dace Goulding‘s Casa By The Sea in Ensenada, Mexico. CBS was closed by Mexican officials in 2004. Reasons for it’s closure included evidence of abuse, child endangerment and the unauthorized use of a pharmacy. Many allegations of abuse arose from Robinson’s tenure at Casa By the Sea, including allegations of physical abuse, sexual abuse and intentional medical neglect.
Later that same year, he opened his own program in Terra Bella, California called Bell Academy. Bell Academy never got off the ground because Robinson refused to cooperate with California’s licensing requirements. Robinson moved the students to a facility in Amargosa Valley, Nevada, re-naming it Horizon Academy. In 2011, Nevada CPS officials investigated and noted several student safety concerns. Allegations of physical abuse and multiple gang rapes have been reported, including an incident where Robinson himself attempted to cover up a sexual abuse case and lied to law enforcement. In 2011, Robinson fled with over 80 children to La Verkin, Utah, reinventing Horizon Academy on the same grounds as WWASP’s original program, Cross Creek Center.
At first, the facilities operated separately, but gradually began to merge. The facility operated as Horizon Academy until 2012, when Youth Foundation Inc was established and the facility was re-named Youth Foundation Success Academy. Although no official reason was announced, the change was widely suspected to be motivated by the bad press of abuse allegations surmounting against Robinson and Horizon Academy. These incidents, combined with another lawsuit being filed against Cross Creek Programs and a withering New York Times article brought unwanted attention to the terrible conditions under which detainees at the school live. Relentless pressure from the media and a number of WWASP survivor websites like this one targeted parents with this damning information, and enrollment at the school began to decline.
WWASP Survivors has received reports that Robinson may likely be working at the old Horizon Academy, now dubbed Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, NV. This facility is currently operated by WWASP’s resident psychologist Dr. Marcel Chappuis, and apparent dual family rep (for YFSA) Jody Harris. Our research confirms that Jody Harris had to withdraw her LSAC license because she was charged with “engaging in an inappropriate dual relationship with a client”. However in 2011 Harris’ license was re-instated due in part to a letter on her behalf from Dr Marcel Chappuis.
Robinson is also rumored to be working with Dace Goulding in an attempt to open another program on the property of the former Casa By the Sea, in Ensenada Mexico.
Oh… but there’s more.
Current Director, Chaffin Pullan is the former owner of WWASP’s (CLOSED) Spring Creek Lodge in Thompson Falls MT. The school was closed amid allegations of a wrongful death, in which principals of the foundation recently settled a lawsuit for $3 Million. Many allegations of abuse arose from Pullan’s time at Spring Creek, as well many continue to surmount against him as director for Youth Foundation Success Academy.
Current administrator, Jason Finlinson is the former owner of WWASP’s (CLOSED) Academy at Ivy Ridge which closed amid a $100 Million lawsuit alleging false claims of accreditations and fake diplomas being issued. Finlinson also tenured employment as administrator at WWASP’s (CLOSED) Casa By the Sea, where he has been accused of multiple serious allegations of violence, sexual abuse and vicious treatment of students. Allegations against him continue to arise in his staff role at Youth Foundation Success Academy.
Current Night Staff, Brian Vaifanua is the former owner of WWASP’s (CLOSED) Paradise Cove, in Somoa which closed amid investigations into allegations of abuse. Vaifanua was formerly employed by the Hurricane Public School District as a coach, however, after reports from his former abuse victims reached the district’s board he was subsequently fired from the district. Vaifanua was hired by Youth Foundation Success Academy as night staff, an employee with unlimited access to children at night with little to no supervision.
Many other principals of Youth Foundation Inc. have deep ties to WWASP and their spin off programs, including Mickey Manning, current president of Youth Foundation Inc, and current owner of RiverView Academy in Thompson Falls MT.
We sincerely hope that this cycle of abuse will not continue with YF’s recommendations to other abusive schools like Diamond Ranch Academy. We encourage all parents to recognize the patterns of such a scam in any program. For more information on abuse in residential programs please view our Red Flag’s list. We hope that you will make all efforts to protect your children from any further harm and refuse to place your child in the hands of abusers.
If you were abused at any WWASP affiliated facility, please help us educate prospective parents and the general public about WWASP by reporting the abuse and submitting your testimony to to WWASP Survivors by filling out the form located here. Please also consider donating to WWASP Survivors to support our mission to end institutional child abuse in residential treatment programs.
The Truth Will Set THEM Free!!