Fort Stockton Teacher Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud Scheme

MIDLAND, Texas (Local 2/Fox 24) - A 58-year-old man has pleaded guilty in federal court in connection with a wire fraud scheme, among other charges, Thursday. 

Officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office say George Mariadas Kurusu, an Indian National and a Fort Stockton ISD teacher pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, fraud in a foreign labor contracting, tampering with a witness and making a false statement on a visa application. 

Kurusu reportedly admitted to defrauding several individuals out of more than $50,000 for a "visa package" provided by his company, promising visas and teaching jobs. 

Through his business, Smaritan Educational Services, Kurusu reportedly promised services to those seeking teaching positions in the United States including visa's.

Investigators say when the victims arrived in the US, he had them set up bank accounts where 15 percent of their monthly paychecks were wired to the businesses bank accounts. 

Furthermore, Kurusu was accused of threatening the victims that if they did not pay they would lose their jobs and their visas, "two things of which Kurusu had no control."

Kurusu also reportedly told the victims not to speak with authorities. 

He now faces up to 20 years in federal prison and sentencing has not yet been scheduled, according to the release. 


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