School employee facing Miami fraud charges in connection with special-need scholarships

Miami fraud charges have been filed against a high-ranking administrator in the Miami-Dade school system, the Herald reported.

The woman is accused of taking public funds meant for disabled children and using the money to pay for her children’s tuition at a private school in Broward. These kinds of cases frequently involve someone who has little or no experience in the criminal justice system. Too often, they believe their best chance is to cooperate with authorities. However, it is important to remember that the authorities are charged with collecting evidence against you. That is their job. Hiring a Miami defense attorney experienced in protecting clients against fraud allegations is the best course of action.

In this case, the woman is charged with taking $19,000 in John McKay scholarship money. The money is provided by the state to help with the costs of private schools for children with disabilities. Broward County court records indicate the woman is accused of using the money to pay for her son and daughter’s tuition at a private school in Broward County. Authorities allege she falsified information on the applications, including the extent of her children’s disabilities, forged signatures and ask school employees to doctor records.

The Herald reports that the woman’s husband was on the short list to be considered for district superintendent several years ago and that they make $225,000 a year. She was able to qualify her daughter for $11,356 in scholarship funds, while her son qualified for $7,791. Authorities say that she took a check to the school when the investigation started, and asked that her daughter be removed from the scholarship program and that records be destroyed.

She has been released from jail on $5,000 bail and faces felony charges of grand theft and organized scheme to defraud. Her attorney said she would plead not guilty.

NBC Miami reported that the defendant was an instructional supervisor for exceptional student education and had access to the inner workings of the state-funded scholarship program.