March 10, 2014
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – Audits of preschool special education contractors providing educational services have uncovered a pattern of bilking the government. Nearly $22 million in unsupported or inappropriate charges have been documented through New York State comptroller investigations.
In July 2012, DiNapoli’s office issued an audit of Queens-based contractor providing educational services to New York City schools. The investigation found the provider inappropriately charged New York City’s Department of Education nearly $1.5 million for salaries, vehicle leases and items such as cosmetics and children’s furniture. There were also a number of questionable issues related to staff salaries.
“Cheon Park blatantly enriched himself to the tune of millions of dollars and deprived children with physical, developmental and emotional disabilities of the help they need. His guilty plea stands as a warning for those who attempt to cheat taxpayers and exploit gaps in oversight.”
Comptroller audits are finding a pattern of fraud and improper use of funds by contractors providing educational services to public schools in New York State. Investigations have resulted in multiple criminal convictions. Outsourcing services continues to be problematic and costly for municipalities throughout New York.