The students at Detroit Public Schools should be getting used to hearing about how their principals and other adults have stolen money that was supposed to go the students. This time, it was a 69-year-old woman who was a former grants administrator. The money she is accused of taking was for the tutoring program — $1.3 million.

The woman is facing charges for billing the school system for $1.275 million over the course of seven years. She used a variety of fake documents, such as test scores, attendance records, learning plans and forged parental signatures. The school district had to have all these documents before they would release payment.

The woman, her husband and her daughter owned five tutoring businesses, but her daughter and her husband haven’t been charged as of yet. The government has managed to get back almost $1 million from the woman. This scam cheated the students of Detroit Public Schools because the kids didn’t get the tutoring they needed. The money could have been used elsewhere, too.

The woman worked for DPS for 38 years. She was hit with a civil forfeiture complaint in 2014, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation seizing money out of several bank accounts that belonged to the woman and her husband. The woman ran her scam for six years, though, and three of her companies received federal grant money to pay for the tutoring — $6.1 million. That money was supposed to help DPS kids with tutoring so progress goals could be met.

While this isn’t your typical scam for stealing money, the woman can develop a strong defense against the charges with the help of an experienced attorney. This will have a lot of evidence and the attorney may make it difficult for the prosecution to present its case in a manner that is crystal clear.

Source: Detroit Free Press, “Feds: New $1.3M tutoring scam uncovered at Detroit schools,” Tresa Baldas, May 24, 2016