How hard is it get a well-paying job as a therapist for children with autism? For Stacy A. Lore, who provided “services” paid for by the Weston and Norwalk school districts, both in Connecticut, it was apparently as simple as doctoring up some diplomas and presenting herself as an expert.
Thursday, Lore pleaded guilty to larceny, based on charges that he misrepresented her qualifications. She was paid $300,350 from 2005 to 2006 by the 2,500-student Weston district to provide behavioral therapy to students with autism. The 11,000-student Norwalk district paid $155,781. She collected additional fees directly from parents.
The district was first tipped off by suspicious parents about Lore, noting that she was billing for days when her patients were in the hospital, or on district-wide snow days. Some hard digging by the local newspapers uncovered that Lore had a GED, not the extensive credentials she claimed. But it took three years from the time the complaints were raised until she was arrested. Part of the arrest report said that the diplomas she presented appeared to have drips from correction fluid.
Liz Ditz at the blog I Speak of Dreams compiled a list of links earlier this year to different articles about the case. The details of the case are a doozy—not just Lore’s fraud, but what seems like a severe lack of oversight on the part of the school districts that employed her. Too bad Law and Order has been cancelled!
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.