A Westchester special-education teacher was sentenced Tuesday to one-and-a-half to three years in prison for stealing the identities of two licensed teachers so she could continue working with special-needs children, officials said.
Aimee Stark, 42, of Mount Kisco, also known as Aimee Forman, pleaded guilty in November to the scheme, according to Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.
Singas said that the Stark admitted to using forged identifications, including photocopies of altered Social Security cards and driver’s licenses in the victims’ names to obtain employment after her teaching license was revoked.
She earned over $57,063.44 in wages from April 1, 2014, through Jan. 8, 2016 using the forged identities, court documents show.
“To continue teaching after her certification was revoked, this defendant stole the identities of certified teachers and billed education providers in their names,” said Singas.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.”
The scheme was uncovered in November 2014, when the first victim, a long-time friend of Stark's, was notified by her employer that there was a complaint about fraudulent billing, Singas said.
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, Singas said.
The victim contacted Autism Early Enrichment Services 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, Singas said.
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 with the victim’s name, but bearing Stark's photo.
Stark was arrested by members of the Nassau County Police Department on Jan. 15, 2015, and charged with one count of identity theft in the first degree, according to Singas.
While the original case was pending around August 2015, it was discovered by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Provider Oversight Unit that 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 both pre and post-arrest, Singas said.
On Dec. 16, 2016, in Westchester County, Stark admitted to violating an earlier felony probation on another matter and was sentenced to one to three years in jail. She will serve her new sentence concurrently to her Westchester sentence.
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