Atlantic City Teacher Convicted of Tutoring Scam
An Atlantic City teacher faces three to five years in prison for defrauding the Hamilton Township School District of $23,950 in a tutoring scam.
Kimberly Jurkowski, 52, was convicted at trial today in Mays Landing, according to information from the office of acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain. She was charged with theft by deception and falsifying or tampering with records. Sentencing takes place December 6.
Prosecutors say that the district paid for privat instruciton for Jurkowski's two children through the Bridges Education and Counseling Services of Vineland, operated by a friend, Mildred Spencer, 47.
Spencer, say investigators, serviced the children from mid-2009 until October 2011. Jurkowski and Spencer kept billing the district through the following March, authorities say.
Spencer notified law enforcement when her company received $23,590 for services that weren't rendered, investigators say. She and Jurkowski were apprehended in July 2012 by Hamilton Township police.
The court admitted Spencer to pre-trial intervention (PTI) in light of her cooperation and lack of a criminal record. Jurkowski claimed innocence and opted for a jury trial.
During the three day hearing, Assistant Prosecutor John Moldovan produced time sheets signed by the defendants, representing tutoring sessions. Spencer testified against Jurkowski, undermining the defense strategy that shifted the responsibility to her.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office maintains contact lines to accept confidential information about serious crimes - on line at its home page and the Crimestoppers Web Site. The Prosecutor's phone line is 609-909-7800 and the Crimestoppers tip line is 800-658-TIPS (800-658-8477).