On Monday, it was announced that father and son executives of two Chicago tutoring companies had been sentenced to prison for being involved in an $11 million fraud scheme. Jowhar Soultanali and his son, Kabir Kassam, were convicted of bilking more than 100 school district across the country. From 2008 to 2012, the defendants fraudulently obtained funds from school districts by making misrepresentations about the nature of their companies’ tutoring services.
They also falsely inflated invoices for tutoring work that was never performed. The father and son were accused of paying bribes to school officials and teachers to ensure that their behavior was not detected. 62-year-old Soultanali of Morton Grove, Illinois and 38-year-old Kassam of Wheeling, Illinois pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud last year. Soultanali has been sentenced to six years in prison. Kassam has been handed a sentence of five years and ten months.
During the course of the crime, Soultanali worked as the director of operations for Brilliance Academy Inc. and its subsidiary, Babbage Net School Inc. Both were based in Niles, Illinois. His son, Kassam, was the president of both companies. The firms offered tutoring services to students on-site at schools and via laptops.
It was alleged that the two men provided the school districts with false applications and marketing materials. They falsely claimed to offer pre-testing of enrolled students, customized tutoring programs, provided ongoing progress reports, and compiled results after the tutoring was completed. In total, the companies received $33 million from more than one hundred school districts.
In addition to the father and son team, the investigation also resulted in criminal charges being filed again the two companies, three school officials in Texas and one state education official in New Mexico. Additional details can be found here.