By Victor Skinner -
NILES, IL – Two Illinois men were living the high life with luxury cars, expensive homes and diamond jewelry purchased with money they allegedly scammed from hundreds of schools across 19 states.
Jowhar Soultanali, 58, and his son Kabir Kassam, 34, allegedly bilked about $33 million from more than 200 schools through virtual tutoring companies based in Niles, Illinois.
The companies – Brilliance Academy, Inc. and Babbage Net School, Inc. – contracted to provide tutoring services to schools in Illinois, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington during the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years, the Niles Patch reports.
Federal authorities contend Soultanali and Kassam rigged a computer program to ensure that student test scores always improved, and that the two bribed school officials to direct federal funds their way through school contracts.
Others indicted in the case include “Arturo Martinez, 52, of New Mexico, who was an educational administrator at the New Mexico Education Department; Cedric Peterson, 61, of San Antonio, Texas, who was the assistant principal at Fox Tech High School; Armando Rodriguez, 54, off Corpus Christi, Texas, who was the SES coordinator at Miller High School; and Brian Harris, 33, of San Antonio, Texas, who was the SES coordinator at Sam Houston High School,” the Niles Patch reports.