Buffalo Man Arrested, Accused of Stealing Funds from Buffalo Schools
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Hassan El Saddique, 34, of Buffalo, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with stealing and converting to his own use, more than $5,000 from the Buffalo Board of Education. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen A. Lynch, who is handling the case, stated that between September 2009 and June 2010, the defendant obtained a contract from the Buffalo Board of Education to provide Title I services at the Universal School. Title I is a federally funded program that provides assistance to school districts with high numbers of children from low income families.
According to the complaint, El Saddique never provided Title I services to students at the Universal School. Rather, the defendant appeared uninvited at Bishop Time High School, which already had a Title I program in place, and told school officials that he was there to provide Title I assistance.
The complaint further states that El Saddique volunteered at Bishop Timon knowing that there were no Title I funds available to compensate him. However, the defendant subsequently submitted fraudulent invoices and received payment totaling $15,120. Some of the invoices were submitted for days before and after the Title I program began and ended at Bishop Timon.
The defendant will make an initial appearance at 2:00 p.m. today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott.
The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Assistant Special Agent in Charge Geoff Wood.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.