Man Pleads Guilty To Using Stolen IDs As Part Of Tutoring Program
A man that the federal government says stole hundreds of thousands of taxpayer money was in a courtroom on Thursday.
But before pleading guilty, he told 10 Investigates that he had done nothing wrong.
Ashkir Ali, 46, of Columbus pleaded guilty to defrauding the U.S. government.
Ali ran a tutoring company out of a building that was just a front.
Ali billed school districts for kids who never came.
Before a judge, Ali admitted guilt for lying to federal agents. He also admitted to forging the names of students who he never tutored.
"There are a lot of people who need tutoring services and that money is not available because of people like Mr. Ali," said prosecutor Ken Affeltdt.
Ali billed Columbus City Schools and was paid for tutoring 51 students who either never attended tutoring or who went very few times. Investigators determined the fraudulent scheme netted Ali approximately $100,000 over a two-year period. He used a similar method in Southwestern City Schools.
The charges followed an investigation started by Ohio Auditor Dave Yost. “This is a theft of literacy, not just money,” Auditor Yost said in a joint news release with federal prosecutors.
When asked whether he felt any guilt, Ali told 10 Investigates reporter Paul Aker, “No, I don’t.”
A date for sentencing has not been set. Ali could get seven years in federal prison.