Aimee Stark received thousands of dollars while working with special-needs children MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Westchester woman was sentenced today to one and a half to three years in prison for stealing the identities of two licensed teachers to continue to work as an in-home provider of services to special needs children.
Aimee Stark, 42, pleaded guilty on Nov. 21 before Supreme Court Justice Angelo Delligatti to Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (an E felony).
“To continue teaching after her certification was revoked, this defendant stole the identities of certified teachers and billed education providers in their names,” said District Attorney Singas. “The safety of our kids is paramount, and we expect teachers to have the qualifications and integrity to provide children with the education that they deserve. I am glad that the NCPD and our prosecutors were able to end this charade before more children were impacted.”
DA Singas said that the defendant admitted to using forged identifications, including photo copies of altered social security cards and driver’s licenses in the victims’ names to obtain employment after her teaching license was revoked. The defendant earned over $57,063.44 in wages from April 1, 2014 till Jan. 8, 2016 using the forged identities. Civil judgements will be issued to the four different agencies she defrauded and from whom she received wages.
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 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 an altered New York State Driver’s license bearing the victim’s name, but with the defendant’s photo. The victim 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 Jan. 15, 2015.
In April 2015, while the original case was pending, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Provider Oversight Unit, that both pre and post-arrest, Stark 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 confirmed that Stark used the victim’s name to provide services to children aged three to five both before and after she was arrested.
In Nov. 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 telephone 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 Jan. 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 submitted more than 300 payment invoices.
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. On Dec. 16, 2016, in Westchester County, the defendant admitted to violating her felony probation and was sentenced to one to three years of incarceration. The defendant’s Nassau County sentence of one and a half to three years, will be served concurrent to her Westchester sentence.
Assistant District Attorneys April Montgomery and Betty Rodriguez of DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau are prosecuting the case. Stark is represented by Zeena Abdi, Esq.