TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Two former teachers in the state of Florida were sentenced to serve time in federal prison.
According to a news release provided by the United States Attorney’s Office Northern District of Florida, Kathleen M. Jasper, age 43, and Jeremy M. Jasper, age 41, of Estero were sentenced Tuesday to 10 months and four months in federal prison, respectively.
Both received six months of home confinement after previously pleading guilty to charges of racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets.
After their time in prison, both will have three years of supervised release.
“The defendants’ profiteering scheme is an insult to the dedicated public school teachers and administrators of Florida, who studied and worked hard to become certified in their professions,” said U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody in a statement. “Floridians expect and deserve to know that the public schools to which they entrust their children to learn are being led by teachers and administrators who properly earned their certifications. Today’s sentence reiterates a valuable, but basic lesson. Notably, that hard work and diligence are rewarded, but acts of theft and dishonesty, as demonstrated by these defendants, are to be punished.”
Citing court documents, the Jaspers, who were both certified teachers in Florida, stole content and conspired with others to steal content from the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE) and the Florida Educational Leadership Exam (FELE).
The stolen content was included in test preparation materials and services that were sold thorough their business, NavaEd, LLC (“NavaEd”) for personal profit.
NavaEd, LLC, was a company that offered tutoring and training to prepare prospective Florida educators to successfully take and pass the FTCE and the FELE.
Passage of these exams are required for certification to teach in the state of Florida.
In an effort to harvest tests questions, the Jaspers took exams multiple times. They were eventually banned from taking the exams by the Florida Department of Education.
The news release says the Jaspers then directed employees of NavaEd and independent contractors to take the exam for the same purpose of harvesting exam questions.
Items harvested were then republished and used in training seminars and tutoring sessions for perspective teachers as part of test preparation.
The Jaspers were required to pay back $135,000 to the Florida Department of Education, forfeited $690,879.96, gave up control of the NavaEd website and publication items in relation to the FTCE and the FELE content.