School Climate & Safety

Feds Uncover $1.2 Million Tutoring Scam in Detroit Schools

By Corey Mitchell — May 24, 2016 1 min read
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A former Detroit public schools administrator allegedly bilked the district out of $1.275 million by submitting fraudulent invoices for tutoring services.

Carolyn Starkey Darden, 69, took the money between 2005 and 2012, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Michigan. As the district’s director of grant development, she was in charge of establishing supplemental educational services for eligible students.

“Ms. Starkey-Darden cheated the students of Detroit Public Schools out of valuable resources by fraudulently billing for her company’s services,” David Gelios, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Detroit field office, said in a statement. “In fact, Detroit students were cheated twice by this scheme. Students that needed tutoring never received it, and money that could have been spent on other resources was paid to Ms. Starkey-Darden as part of her fraud scheme.”

If convicted, Starkey Darden faces up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on the charge of federal program theft.

Starkey Darden is just the latest Detroit schools administrator facing criminal charges. At least 10 district administrators, mostly principals, have pleaded guilty to felony charges for their roles in a $2.7 million bribery and kickback scheme.

Detroit Schools Administrator,PDF by corey_c_mitchell

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.