Maryland Man Sentenced to Jail Term for Fraudulent Billing Scheme Targeting D.C. Public Schools
Vendor Falsely Claimed to be Aiding Students With Special Needs
WASHINGTON – Charles E. Scott, Jr., a vendor who claimed to be providing tutoring and mentoring services for students with special needs, was sentenced today to 26 weekends in jail, to be followed by 180 days of home confinement, for a scheme in which he collected more than $75,000 from the District of Columbia Public Schools for work that never was performed.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and District of Columbia Inspector General Daniel W. Lucas.
Scott, 38, of Baltimore, Md., pled guilty in April 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to mail fraud and identity theft. He was sentenced by the Honorable Rudolph Contreras. The judge sentenced him to five years of probation, during which he must serve the jail term and complete the home confinement, as well as perform 100 hours of community service. He also is required to pay $75,398 in restitution to the District of Columbia Public Schools and an identical amount in a forfeiture money judgment.
According to a statement of offense filed as part of the plea, the scheme took place from approximately February 2013 through December 2013. During that time, Scott submitted invoices, timesheets and other documents to the Office of Special Education, a component of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). The Office of Special Education manages the school system’s Compensatory Education Program.
The Compensatory Education Program awards services to eligible students to assist with their educational needs and development. Students awarded compensatory education services have learning, mental, and/or behavioral disabilities that create an educational barrier that prevents them from reaping the full benefits of education. Services consist of tutoring, individualized education, monitoring, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioral and psychological analysis. Once DCPS approves specific services, parents or guardians receive letters specifying the services that can be provided and it is up to the parent or guardian to identify an independent provider to perform the authorized services.
Scott’s invoices included the names and dates of birth for 10 minor children for whom he claimed to have performed services. The accompanying timesheets included what purported to be the signatures of the parents or guardians whose children had purportedly received the services as well as the signatures of the tutors who supposedly did the work. Nearly all of what purported to be signatures of the parents and guardians were forged. Tutors’ signatures also were forged.
Scott did not have permission to use the names and dates of the children listed on his invoices and did not have approval from parents or guardians to sign their names.
All told, Scott obtained a total of $75,398 for services that were never performed. In addition, the District of Columbia disputed and never paid him for $20,314 worth of invoices and timesheets that he submitted for services that never were performed.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu, Assistant Director in Charge McNamara, and Inspector General Lucas commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the District of Columbia Office of the Inspector General. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Lucas, who is handling forfeiture issues, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrienne Dedjinou, and Paralegal Specialists Joshua Fein, Aisha Keys, and Kristy Penny. Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter C. Lallas, who is prosecuting the case.