Ex-Arizona education department employees stole voucher program money using 'ghost children'

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  • Source: Fox News
  • 03/01/2024
Three former Arizona Department of Education employees were indicted on conspiracy and money laundering charges in what prosecutors say was a scheme to defraud more than $600,000 from an education voucher program that has drawn criticism for its skyrocketing costs and lax regulation by the state.

Prosecutors said Thursday that the three employees approved applications for 17 students -– five of which were fictitious -- that admitted them into the voucher program using forged birth certificates and special education evaluations.

Delores Lashay Sweet, Dorrian Lamarr Jones and Jennifer Lopez, who were fired last year from the Department of Education, are accused of using the money for their own benefit, such as luxury purchases. Two of Sweet's adult children, Jadakah Celeste Johnson and Raymond Lamont Johnson Jr., also were charged with conspiracy and money laundering.
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