Friday, October 25, 2013

Atlantic City School Teacher Convicted of Defrauding Hamilton Township School District of Nearly $24,000

MAYS LANDING – An Atlantic City school teacher was convicted of defrauding the Hamilton Township School District of thousands of dollars, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced.
On Wednesday Oct. 23, an Atlantic County jury convicted Kimberly Jurkowski, 52, of Hamilton Township, of theft by deception and falsifying or tampering with records for her involvement in a tutoring scam, which defrauded the Hamilton Township School District of nearly $24,000.

In October of 2011, Jurkowski, who was employed by the Atlantic City School District, enrolled her two children in one-on-one tutoring provided by Bridges Education and Counseling Services in Vineland—a company owned and operated by Mildred Spencer, 47, who was a friend of the defendant. The tutoring was paid for by the Hamilton Township School District.
Spencer provided tutoring services to Jurkowski’s children for approximately a year and a half spanning from mid-2009 to 2011. In Oct. 2011, Jurkowski’s children stopped receiving tutoring services from Spencer.
After the tutoring services had ceased, Jurkowski and Spencer conspired together to continue to bill the Hamilton Township School District for an additional six months, spanning October 2011 through March of 2012. When Spencer’s tutoring company received a payment of $23,950 for the tutoring services that had not been rendered, she voluntarily alerted authorities of the fraud scheme.
On July 26, 2012, following a three-month-long investigation, Jurkowski and Spencer were arrested by Hamilton Township Police.
The Court has since granted Spencer admission into the Pre-Trial Invention Program (PTI) due to her cooperation with the State and lack of a prior criminal record.
Jurkowski however, maintained her innocence and choose to face trial.
During the three-day-long trial, the defense argued that the defendant had not been responsible for the theft and blamed Jurkowski’s co-defendant for the crimes.
The State, represented by Assistant Prosecutor John Moldovan, argued that Jurkowski knowingly committed the theft, stating that both women had signed and submitted falsified documents in order to deceive the Township.
At trial, Moldovan presented Jurkowski with the time sheets that she had signed to be submitted to the Hamilton Township School District for six months of tutoring services. Jurkowski took the witness stand and denied guilt. Jurkowski was then presented the time sheets one at a time, showing the jury that each page showed 14 of the Defendant’s signatures, and that each signature was signed next to a date during the time that the children had attended any tutoring sessions.
Additionally, Spencer was called as a witness for the State and testified against Jurkowski stating that Jurkowski had told her to continue to fraudulently bill for the tutoring services after Jurkowski’s children had stopped attending.
After two hours of deliberation the jury unanimously found Jurkowski guilty.
“The State takes seriously all crimes, and with this trial the jury found that the defendant stole taxpayer dollars and took advantage of a program meant to help children,” Moldovan stated.
Jurkowski will be sentenced on Dec. 6, 2013.
Theft by deception, a crime of the third degree, carries a three to five year New Jersey State Prison sentence and up to $15,000 in fines.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.


Post a Comment

Web Analytics