September 10, 2014
By Stephanie West
The former owner of a Queens-based special education provider, who pleaded guilty to fraud charges earlier this year following a joint investigation by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara, was sentenced to 24 months incarceration and ordered to pay $2,151,318 in restitution and forfeit another $1,924,318.
“Cheon Park enriched himself and deprived children with physical, developmental and emotional disabilities of the help they need,” DiNapoli said. “His conviction stands as a warning for those who attempt to cheat taxpayers and instead use the money for their personal benefit.”
In July 2012, DiNapoli’s office issued an audit of Bilingual SEIT & Preschool Inc. that found Park inappropriately charged New York City’s Department of Education for salaries, vehicle leases, furniture and other items. There were also a number of questionable issues related to staff salaries.
DiNapoli referred the findings to United States Attorney Bharara’s office and worked to prosecute Park and recover the stolen funds.