The government is cracking down on parents who misrepresent themselves so they can send their children to better schools for a better education. Hamlet Garcia and his wife were facing 7 years behind bars for “theft of services” after “stealing” a year of education for their daughter. Odd News Blog reports:
Garcia came to the United States from Cuba, and he was hoping to give himself and his family the opportunity to achieve their dreams. However, he found himself facing seven years in prison. Garcia of Pennsylvania, wanted to give his eight-year-old daughter the best possible education. Garcia claimed on government documents that his daughter lived with her grandmother in a different school district, as he and his wife Olesia were separated.
This allowed her to attend a school in Lower Moreland rather than at a struggling school in northwest Philadelphia.
The District Attorney’s Office said that it does not believe that Hamlet and his wife were separated, and charged the family with theft of services for the theft of a year of education.
Many school districts charge penalties for falsifying documents to prove residence. Some schools encourage parents to expose children who live outside the district, providing anonymous tip lines or even rewards. Garcia ended up avoiding jail after agreeing to a plea deal with prosecutors. He was ordered to pay nearly $11,000 after paying about $70,000 in legal fees.