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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Former OKC Schools Counselor And Former Tutoring Company OwnerPlead Guilty To OKC Schools Tutoring Program Fraud

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – BOBBIE J. DAILEY, 62, from Midwest City, Oklahoma, pled guilty today to making false statements to a government agency by submitting false attendance records for tutoring sessions of students attending Oklahoma City Public Schools, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. Co-defendant REBECCA E. COTTON, 42, of Midwest City, pled guilty on December 19, 2013, to one count of conspiring to make false statements to the government in connection with the same local tutoring program.

As part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the U.S. Department of Education provided funding for extracurricular tutoring to eligible students at eligible schools. Eligible schools were those designated by the state to be in need of improvement, and student eligibility was determined by family income. The Oklahoma City Public Schools District ("OKCPS") offered this tutoring program to eligible students at U.S. Grant High School and Roosevelt Middle School. OKCPS required tutoring providers to record student attendance at tutoring sessions on paper rosters and on a computer database which, in turn, was used to generate invoices that the tutoring providers submitted to OKCPS for payment with federal funds.

According to the Indictment filed in the case, during the 2009-2010 school year, Cotton co-owned and operated A Plus Academics, LLC ("A Plus"), a business providing academic tutoring to school children. During this same year, Cotton owned and operated Foundations Tutoring, LLC ("Foundation"”), a business that also provided academic tutoring to school children. A Plus and Foundations shared office space at 608 Askew Drive, in Midwest City. For the 2009-2010 school year, both A Plus and Foundations were state-approved tutoring providers having contracts with OKCPS to provide tutoring services. A Plus primarily tutored students at U.S. Grant High School. Foundations primarily tutored students at Roosevelt Middle School. Both companies hired teachers at the respective schools as tutors. During the 2009-2010 school year, co-defendant Bobbie Dailey was employed at U.S. Grant High School as a counselor and also as an A Plus tutor and "liaison" between A Plus and U.S. Grant High School.

At the December plea hearing, Cotton admitted that in 2009 she agreed with Bobbie Dailey that A Plus would submit student attendance rosters for students who were not, in fact, attending tutoring. Cotton admitted that OKCPS was billed for these students and that A Plus was paid by OKCPS with federal funds. Dailey pled guilty today to one count of making false statements to a governmental agency. She admitted that she submitted false attendance rosters to A Plus that were ultimately used to bill OKCPS for tutoring services never provided. The potential punishment each woman faces is up to five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. In separate plea agreements, both Dailey and Cotton agree to pay restitution to the U.S. Department of Education. Sentencing will take place in approximately 90 days.

At the December plea hearing, Cotton admitted that in 2009 she agreed with Bobbie Dailey that A Plus would submit student attendance rosters for students who were not, in fact, attending tutoring. Cotton admitted that OKCPS was billed for these students and that A Plus was paid by OKCPS with federal funds. Dailey pled guilty today to one count of making false statements to a governmental agency. She admitted that she submitted false attendance rosters to A Plus that were ultimately used to bill OKCPS for tutoring services never provided. The potential punishment each woman faces is up to five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. In separate plea agreements, both Dailey and Cotton agree to pay restitution to the U.S. Department of Education. Sentencing will take place in approximately 90 days.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Economic Crimes Task Force, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amanda Maxfield Green and Chris M. Stephens.