Our firm was mentioned in an article published by The Daily Caller News Foundation titled “DC Not Interested In Stopping Maryland Fraudsters Stealing Its Schools.” The article, which is the third such article in a six-part series, begins, “District of Columbia public school officials have allowed Maryland residents to face no punishment for faking their addresses to take slots in D.C. facilities, and officials have largely crippled the anti-residency fraud measures launched five years ago in response to an uproar from the city council and local parents…” The authors later cite an August 2014 article written by our managing partner Philip Becnel for Fraud Magazine which detailed our firm’s previous work combating residency fraud in D.C. charter schools, a nod to the anti-residency fraud measures which we helped to launch several years ago.
The series, written by tenacious investigative journalists Luke Rosiak and Kathryn Watson, follows an extensive investigation into the problem of residency fraud in the District of Columbia. Residency fraud occurs when parents who live in jurisdictions outside of the school district where they send their children lie on enrollment forms to have their children’s education paid for in jurisdictions where they do not pay taxes. This is a major problem in Washington, where D.C. residents pay millions of dollars in taxes to educate the children of out-of-town residents, who mainly commute in from Maryland. Taking a page from a private investigator’s playbook, Rosiak and Watson followed parents as they picked up their kids from D.C. schools and returned to their homes in Maryland, and their interviews captured in comical fashion the unlikely excuses posited by both parents and D.C. administrators.
The facts diligently exposed in the series of articles are damning enough to make the blood of any voting, taxpaying D.C. resident boil. Mainly, however, we’re just grateful that our firm ended up being portrayed as part of a solution that wasn’t fully utilized, instead of another cog in the problem.