The defense is that the paperwork just got overlooked. But how does that happen if one defendant is a former MoFo partner with a Stanford / Ivy League education? The facts will no doubt unfold further as Jonathan Dickstein, and his wife, Barclay Lynn, are arraigned for charges they defrauded the San Francisco school district and the state of California in the amount of $400,000.
Dickstein and Lynn are due to appear in court on sometime next week on 30 counts of forgery, theft and conspiracy, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The couple allegedly over-charged the school district and the state for the care of their autistic son during the years 2006 to 2008. Parents of disabled children are required by law to retain licensed private educational providers to develop individual treatment plans that meet state guidelines for their children. The school districts are then required to compensate the parents for any home education of autistic or severely disabled children.
According to the Chronicle, Dickstein and Lynn allegedly created a dummy corporation called "Puzzle Pieces" and used it to charge the district for their son's care. Prosecutors further contend that the company was used to double-bill by charging both the school district and the insurers for the same services and charging roughly twice what is usual for in-home autism care.
The pieces started to fall into place for the school district when, prevented by the couple from speaking to the autism care "service providers," the district finally cottoned to the fact that Puzzle Pieces was allegedly not a licensed service provider. "This was an elaborate scheme to defraud the school district and insurance companies out of a lot of money," Chief Assistant District Attorney David Pfeifer told the Chronicle. "They used this scheme to make money off their child's special needs - that's terrible."
Jonathan Dickstein's attorney, Garrick Lew, says the couple were just devoted parents who took efforts in getting care for the son too far. "They were dealing with multiple agencies," he said. "Somehow things kind of went south. It's really unfortunate for them, as people, and also for their kid."
Douglas Rappaport, Lynn's attorney, commented to the Chronicle that it was too soon to comment in detail but that there was "some indication that their conduct could be construed as lawful."
Both Dickstein and Lynn are both free on bail of $100,000 each.
- Former MoFo Partner Accused of Major Fraud (Above the Law)
- California Assembly Bill 88 (Leg.info.ca)
- Students with Special Needs (EdSource.org)
- Special Education and Disability Access: The IDEA and Placing Disabled Kids (FindLaw)