GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Gwinnett County police have launched a criminal case against a GED school Channel 2 Action News reported on weeks ago.
Students say their diplomas are worthless because the school was not accredited. The school’s director says the case will hurt the students.
Stanley Jean appears to be doing everything to try to keep the police out of this, but Gwinnett police though are on it.
Jean calls it all a misunderstanding. The school is not accredited and the government won't accept it as part of immigration applications.
Yeni Motalvo went to class for seven months. She said she paid $3,000. She was one of dozens of students who met with Gwinnett County police Friday, hoping to bolster their criminal case against Jean and other school staff.
“I lost money, I lost time, I lost my dream,” said Jose Montes, a former student.
Police say there could be as many as 800 victims and building a case could take a while. Jean referred Channel 2’s Tony Thomas to his lawyer when he called, but last week Jean spoke with weekly newspaper Mundo Hispanico trying to convince his former students to not go to the police.
“If you cause so much noise with this no one will be able to help you. This is just going to destroy even more the community. There's been a misunderstanding,” he said.
Police are also looking at several other people as part of the case, including a woman who claimed to be an immigration attorney and referred many of the students to the school.
“Collecting money for filing immigration paperwork that almost overwhelmingly came back as being rejected and invalid,” said Gwinnett County police Detective Norman Cultarevic.
Police say at least one of the names on the diplomas was stolen from a school that operates a real institution in Atlanta.