Parents Arrested After Child Attends Lower Moreland with Fake Address

Parents provided a home address on Brookdale Ave. in Huntingdon Valley, but they really lived in Philadelphia.

The following is from the Montgomery County Office of the District Attorney:

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Lower Moreland Township Police Chief Peter Hasson announce the filing of charges against Hamlet Garcia and Olesia Garcia, both of Philadelphia, for Theft of Services and Conspiracy to Commit Theft of Services for obtaining educational services in Lower Moreland Township without paying the necessary tuition costs derived from school taxes. 

Specifically, Hamlet and Olesia Garcia fraudulently reported that they resided at the Huntingdon Valley home of Olesia Garcia’s father in order to send their child to school in Lower Moreland. As a result, the Garcia’s failed to pay the local school taxes, but obtained the services paid for with those school taxes. Their fraudulent conduct resulted in a financial loss to the Lower Moreland School District in the amount of $10,752.81 for the year.

“These defendants essentially stole from every hard-working taxpayer who resides within the Lower Moreland School District by lying about the true location of their home. School taxes are a difficult burden that most residents pay without complaint, but the Garcia’s instead chose to steal to further their child’s education.”

- Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman

In March of 2012, the Lower Moreland School District received information that one of their enrolled students resided in Philadelphia and not Lower Moreland Township. As a result, the School District conducted a residency investigation to determine whether the student’s parents, Hamlet and Olesia Garcia, were providing a fraudulent Lower Moreland address. The school records indicated that the student and the Garcia's lived together at an address on Brookdale Avenue, Huntingdon Valley, Lower Moreland Township. During April of 2012, surveillance performed by the School District revealed that the student never left the Brookdale Avenue address in the morning to attend school. However, the vehicle driven by Hamlet Garcia that took the student to school was seen earlier in the morning at the Garcia’s home on Philmont Terrace in Philadelphia. At an April 16, 2012 meeting with the School District, Olesia Garcia’s father provided a signed and notarized document marked “Application for Multiple Occupancy Registration” which stated that Olesia Garcia and her child resided with him on Brookdale Avenue. 

A subsequent investigation performed by the Lower Moreland Police Department revealed that Garcia’s lived in their Philadelphia home since 2004, and at no time did the Garcia's or their child reside in Lower Moreland. During the investigation, Olesia Garcia’s father admitted to police that Olesia Garcia and her child would only stay at his house “sometimes” despite his earlier representations.

According to the Lower Moreland School District, the cost to educate the child for the year was $10,752.81. The loss was calculated based upon the Pennsylvania Department of Education tuition rate for the school district of $58.97 per student per day. The tuition costs for the students are paid for with the school taxes of those who live within the school district. Accordingly, due to the fact that the Garcia's did not live within the school district, and therefore did not pay school taxes for the district, they obtained the educational services without payment for those services.   

The Preliminary Hearings for Hamlet Garcia and Olesia Garcia are scheduled for September 6, 2012, 9:00 a.m. before Magisterial District Justice Jay S. Friedenberg in Willow Grove, Upper Moreland Township. They will remain free on $10,000 unsecured bail pending resolution of the charges.     

These cases will be prosecuted by the Captain of the Economic Crimes Team, Assistant District Attorney John F. Walko. 

LM Taxpayer August 31, 2012 at 12:43 PM
HURRAY, finally the district took action on the those stealing the tax payers money. This has been going on for years and the district never took action, maybe now this will send a signal to others doing it. $10,000 is just on the low end, if the child(ren) use our special dept and the various services they provide it is at least twice that amount.
Lm resident August 31, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Isn't the grandfather paying school taxes? I'm sure he doesn't have any other school age children going there!
Colleen B. August 31, 2012 at 03:20 PM
That's not how it works. Here are the rules: http://www.lmtsd.org/cms/lib/PA01000427/Centricity/Domain/56/Multiple%20Occupancyfinal.pdf The child & parent would need to be living with the Grandfather FT in LM. The Grandfather provided a notarized statement confirming this, but later told authorities they only stayed with him "sometimes", according to the news articles.
Alex Reynov August 31, 2012 at 03:46 PM
This is incredible they are wasting a whole lot more tax payers money on all of these investigations and the trial than Garcia's could ever have allegedly stolen. Doesn't lower Moreland police have better things to do then ruin a good family, in reality what did they do? They tried to give their child a better education. I hate the bureaucracy - they should charge themselves for being a bunch of hypocritical a*&ols
John Q August 31, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I agree with Lm resident. If he is paying property taxes than he should have the right to have his grandchild attend the schools that his money is supporting.
Blah Blah August 31, 2012 at 08:05 PM
the rules are the rules- follow them or go somewhere else......where do you draw the line? so just because someone lives here and has no direct descendent going to the schools it should be ok for their family members to attend the schools when they live somewhere else? BS...let the friggin garcias and any other thieves work harder, get a better job so they can afford to live in LM, then send your kids to our schools...otherwise, go somewhere else!!!!! what a rediculous mindset to think that this is ok...wake up people! even a half intelligent person knows that if every single resident who did not have a child wound up sending an out-of-area family member to the school then it would be unsustainable--- there is a simple mathematical equation that factors into all this...the taxes would SKYROCKET if at least one person per household attended the school system...it is like this everywhere! money aside, there is also a safety issue- you cannot have every tom dick harry have free reign to come and go without any accountability just because they have a family member living in the area...the liberal mindset drives me crazy...no wonder we have so many problems these days- everyone is afraid of the rules and enforcing them...oh what is the big deal you say? it may not be if you just look at the trees, but wake up and look at the whole forest!
Dirogo September 01, 2012 at 02:56 AM
You are absolutely right. And as I have said before.. that these people should not have to pay the school tax. But I have been her over 20 years .. and there are MANY kids that went to Lower Moreland pretending to reside with their grandparents. You have to wonder what the real motivation was for this particular family to get targetd.
Pay or Getout September 01, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Absolutely right on target! The rules are the rules, every township has grandparents paying taxes, it is built into the equation of taxing. LM residents work hard to be here. I for one moved from Philly to be here for the schools. Stop making excuses for illegal activities! Be a resident or get out!
Tired Of A$$es September 06, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Blah Blah and Pay or Getout, I hope you lose your jobs and are forced to move and if you have kids, they should not be afforded the best eductaion,....then you'll see! All these people wanted to do was help their child to do better, what is wrong with that? NOTHING!
Tim Lennon October 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Blah Blah & P or G are right...Tird of A's...u ar ethe one who is misguided. If they want better education for thgeir chidren then pay to send them to an academy. Or here's a novel idea...BUY a HOME in Lower Moreland like I did 3 years ago and PAY the taxes. So Tired of A's, should we open the doors of Pine Rd elementary for EVERY child who knows someone that lives in LM? Or maybe every child in NE Philly can come to Pine Rd Elementary? C'mon, bring them all on! If you want a better education either move to a better school district, pay for private school, or get involved to make your current district better!!! You cannot cheat!
hamlet November 28, 2012 at 03:55 AM
They always thought they were better then people.. they got money for vacation 3 times a year. They could of put her in Catholic school. Private. No they stole and now the daughter gotta end of in Philly school now. I hope you wanna be rich snobs get a huge fine.
It is what it is... December 08, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Hmmm. They were separated... But drove her to school TOGETHER everyday all year long- even in the fall. Geez, if I knew I could have stayed in Philly and used my relative's address in LM, I would never have moved! They got caught. Plain and simple. So make them pay and be done with it. However, I guess the DA doesn't see a difference between this and insurance fraud-no different than using someone's else's address to get cheaper auto insurance.
rick February 02, 2013 at 04:31 AM
How come the Garcia's family hasn't paid the school district yet? They keep mentioning that they are willing to pay back the school but haven't yet. This story and family does not add up and something is definitely shady. Also, how come there's no proof of them actually living at the residence? Why would the police township lie about them not living there? The truth will come out at the end.
Stephanie February 09, 2013 at 06:29 PM
I would like to suggest for the Garcia’s family to read a book called “America the Beautiful “By Dr. Benjamin Carson. If they would like to provide a good life for their child then they should work 3 jobs and stop making excuses for themselves and play as a victim. This book is exactly what they need to read about and learn about as well.
Jim Woo March 29, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Just because it is the rule doesn't mean it is right. Parents shouldn't be sent to jail because they want a better education for their children. A hefty fine maybe... but jail? and labeled as thief? Come on people!
Howard Hyman January 31, 2014 at 01:01 PM
I heard the father, and his lawyer, on Dom Giordano's radio show. I do NOT believe his story about he and his wife separating. My opinion is that the story is BOGUS! BLAMING OTHERS FOR HIS UNDERHANDED MISDEEDS!! Many "school thieves" have tried this in other local districts. The guy and his Russian-born wife got caught, and now they must pay. The DA should NOT have backed down on the FELONY CHARGES! In my opinion, this guy should have been sent to jail. Even after the guy ADMITTED that he broke the law, and lied, he PRETENDS to be indignant. NOW, he claims that he was TARGETTED because of RACISM!! CUT ME A BREAK! While he PROMISES to pay around $11,000 to LM, I wonder IF he will ever pay that amount. ALSO, he now claims that he was TARGETTED FOR RACIST REASONS!! NO PAL---you were INVESTIGATED and EXPOSED!! YOU CLAIM RACISM!! PROVE IT! PUT UP OR SHUT UP. I have a ROTTEN opinion of this haughty guy. The DA should NOT have backed down, and gone after him for a FELONY, "Theft of Services." His penalty, FOLLOWED BY HIS CHARGES OF RACISM should entitle him to a JAIL SENTENCE. He appears to NOT realize that he committed a dishonest, unlawful act If Mr. Hamlet wants to do things legally----MOVE TO LOWER MORELAND and PAY LOWER MORELAND TAXES. Mr. Hamlet got caught. Now stop the BS about Racism!! Maybe Hamlet is the racist!???


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