Aimee Stark lost her teaching license in 2014 and allegedly stole identities to continue working with special needs children
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a former Westchester teacher was arraigned today on a 40-count indictment charging her with crimes related to stealing the identities of two licensed teachers to continue to work as an in-home provider of services to special needs children.
Aimee Stark a/k/a Aimee Forman, 41, of Mount Kisco, was arraigned this morning before Supreme Court Justice Angelo Delligatti and charged with six counts of Identity Theft in the 1st Degree (a D felony), four counts of Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree (a D felony), 15 counts of Falsifying Business Records in the 1st Degree (an E felony), 14 counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the 2nd Degree (an E felony) and Scheme to Defraud in the 1st Degree (an E felony).
The defendant pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash. Stark is due back in court on May 4. The defendant faces a maximum of 3-1/2 to 7 years in prison if convicted on the top count.
“This unlicensed teacher allegedly lied her way into employment on multiple occasions, using the identities of two licensed professionals, and worked in the homes of very young, special needs children,” DA Singas said. “Identity theft is a serious crime that can ruin the lives and reputations of victims and undoing the harm caused can take years. I thank our partners in New York City and the Nassau County Police Department for helping us unravel this alleged scheme.”
DA Singas said that in November 2014, the first victim, a long-time friend of the defendant, was notified by her employer that there was a complaint about fraudulent billing. The licensed teacher was informed that “she” had submitted an invoice for a session in Nassau County and a session in Westchester County that occurred at the same time.
The victim contacted Autism Early Enrichment Services (AEES) about the Westchester billing and was informed that “she” was a contractor working for the company and that an invoice had been submitted for payment. The victim never worked for AEES and it was soon discovered that the woman employed was allegedly Aimee Stark.
Stark allegedly provided a copy of the victim’s teaching certificate, a resume in the victim’s name, a copy of an altered Social Security card and a copy of New York State Driver’s license bearing the victim’s name, but with the defendant’s photo.
The victim immediately contacted the Nassau County Police Department and the New York State Education Department. The defendant was arrested by members of the NCPD First Precinct on January 15, 2015, and charged with one count of Identity Theft in the 1st Degree.
In or about April 2015, while the original case was pending, it was discovered by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Provider Oversight Unit, that both pre and post-arrest, Stark allegedly used the victim’s identity and had obtained employment with numerous other agencies that provided in-home services to special needs children aged 0 to 3.
At that time, the New York City Education Department was able to confirm that Stark used the victim’s name to provide services to children aged 3 to 5 both before and after she was arrested.
In November 2015, an owner of a Nassau County agency that services special needs children contacted the NCDA when she noticed irregularities in an application for work in the name of the second victim, a licensed teacher.
The owner noticed that a teaching certificate was missing and ran the listed service provider profile number and discovered it belonged to the first victim. The number provided in the application was allegedly connected to Stark’s Facebook profile and a review of the provided New York State Driver’s License showed Stark’s photo under the name of the second victim.
In January 2016, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Providers Oversight Unit informed the NCDA that a search of the second victim’s name turned up one result, PM Evaluation and Therapy, where the defendant allegedly submitted more than 300 payment invoices.
A review of the human resource file for the teacher at PM Evaluation and Therapy contained a New York State Driver’s License bearing the photo of Stark and the name of the second identity theft victim, who is also a licensed teacher.
The original case came to the DA’s Office from the Nassau County Police Department, First Squad. The additional investigation was completed with the assistance of the Providers Oversight Unit of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; the New York City Education Department; the New York State Department of Education, Office of Teaching Initiatives and NCDA Detective Investigators.
The New York State Department of Education revoked the defendant’s teaching license in 2014. The defendant has an open probation violation case in Westchester County.
Assistant District Attorneys April Montgomery and Lauren Littman of DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau are prosecuting the case. Stark is represented by Zeena Abdi, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.