COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Columbus man was sentenced on Thursday to 18 months in prison for ripping off a state tutoring program.
Ashkir Ali, 46, billed Columbus City Schools and Southwestern City Schools for tutoring sessions that were never provided.
He pleaded guilty back in November to making false statements in invoices.
Ali avoided reporters as he walked into the Federal Courthouse on Thursday, but he could not avoid the judge.
“These crimes were committed in order to abuse a program set up to help central Ohio school children,” U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart said.
Taxpayers paid the tab to help the low income kids. But in reality, the kids never came.
Michael Spiert from the State Auditor’s office investigated the case. He says Ali made it happen by lying about children that were never in attendance.
Forged documents and submitted them to the government,” said Spiert.
According to investigators, he stole at least $115,000 in the scheme through his company – WAISS Network Technologies.
Investigators say Ali could get some company in federal prison in the future.
State investigators have their eyes on several other tutoring organizations that appear to have also ripped off the government.
Spiert says more cases are expected to follow this one.