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Two former school officials in Morris County, N.J., have been sentenced to prison terms for operating an investment scheme that preyed upon dozens of neighbors, friends, and professional associates, according to Daniel Gibbons, assistant U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey.

A federal judge on Sept. 23 sentenced John Cotsakos, former assistant principal of Parsippany Hills High School, to two years in prison. Joseph Immitt, former assistant director of adult education for the Parsippany-Troy Hills school district, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Both were convicted on fraud charges.

According to Robert G. Roche, chief of the criminal-investigations division of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service office in New Jersey, the men collected $2.5 million from professional associates and friends by convincing them they were investing the money; the two then paid interest out of the pool of capital collected.

"They told their clients they had inside information that could yield high interest rates," said Mr. Roche. "They weren't investing the money," he added.

A Maryland parent whose son was expelled from school for selling marijuana has filed a $40-million federal lawsuit against the local school board, claiming that the youth and others expelled for similar reasons were denied due process of law and unlawfully deel10lprived of their right to education.

William Huebl is suing the Anne Arundel County Board of Education on behalf of his son, August Huebl, 16, and 4,000 other Anne Arundel County students who have been expelled under the policy, according to Alan Legum, Mr. Heubl's lawyer.

The decision to expel the Huebl youth from Annapolis High School for using and selling marijuana was based on regulations published in a manual prepared by the superintendent's office, but those conflict with the board's policy, Mr. Legum said.

That policy is to suspend any student caught with drugs, but to readmit a student who discloses the source of the drugs and is certified by a physician as being fit to attend classes, Mr. Legum said..

The school board thus ignored its own regulations, the lawyer noted.

Alan Cohen, the lawyer for the county school board, said the superintendent's rules clearly state that any student caught selling drugs will be expelled, and the school board agreed with that rule when hearing the Huebl case.

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