Federal Fraud Indictment Involving School Services
Updated: Wednesday, March 13 2013, 04:29 PM EDT
COLUMBUS -- US Attorney Carter Stewart Wednesday revealed federal fraud charges against a contractor for Columbus City Schools.
The indictment alleges that Ashkir Ali, 45, of Columbus falsified invoices and payment forms to provide tutoring for low income students.
Stewart said signatures were forged of about 50 families and that Ali billed the district $50,000 which was passed through a federal Supplemental Education Services Program.
State Auditor Dave Yost said they initiated an audit of WAISS Network Technologies and Ali in 2011 after allegations surfaced about possible misconduct. "By stealing from the SES program, these phantom tutors are stealing from the children who need help the most. They are stealing their opportunity to learn to read," said Yost.
Stewart said it is important to protect the integrity of all federally funded programs and the taxpayers.
Ali was arrested at his business without incident Tuesday but released from jail on his own recognizance.
Ali is charged with two counts making false statements and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
Reporter: LuAnn Stoia
Web Producer: Kellie Hanna