- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 27, 2019

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced Wednesday lawsuits accusing seven people of falsely saying they lived in the District in order to send their children to D.C. public schools for free.

The lawsuits seek more than $700,000 in unpaid tuition or benefits, costs and penalties, the attorney general’s office said in a news release. Non-resident tuition costs about $14,000 a year.

“Residency fraud not only cheats our taxpayers, but it also hurts District children who play by the rules, and frequently rely on the school lottery process to attend the schools of their choice,” Mr. Racine said in a statement. “Our office will continue to bring actions against any individuals who try to fraudulently take advantage of free schooling for District students.”

The lawsuits were filed against:

⦁ April and Nicholas Fennell of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Both are employed at the Imagine Hope Community Public Charter School Lamond Campus in Northeast. They are accused of sending their three children to a magnet high school and charter school in the District from 2014 to 2016. The attorney general’s office is seeking about $234,000 from them in unpaid tuition, damages and penalties.

⦁ Chantese Alston of the District and James Alston of Oxon Hill. The attorney general’s office said the Alstons were living in Maryland when they sent their children to a D.C. public school and two charter schools from 2009 to November 2015. The office is seeking about $391,000 from them.

⦁ Adult sisters Asaki and Rashidat Shittu, both of Hyattsville, and their father, Rasaki Shittu, of the District. In one lawsuit, the attorney general’s office says the sisters falsely claimed their children were living at their father’s address in the city when they actually resided in Maryland and Mr. Shittu filled out forms to aid the deception from 2010 through part of the 2013-14 school year. The office is seeking about $66,000 from the sisters. In a second lawsuit, the office is seeking about $15,000 from Rashidat Shittu for unpaid tuition.

• Carleton Bryant can be reached at cbryant@washingtontimes.com.

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