Busted: HS Principal caught up in two-state auto insurance scam

Auto insurance isn't cheap in New York State and one educator thought she'd figure how she'd beat the system. She should have just switched to...well, you know

The Staten Island school principal who was caught in the middle of a car insurance scam that was uncovered by

(Getty Images)

The Staten Island school principal who was caught in the middle of a car insurance scam that was uncovered by the New York Post, has pleaded guilty to insurance fraud.

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The former interim acting principal of Port Richmond High School, Oneatha Swinton, was accused of swindling her insurance carrier by registering her luxury vehicles at a Pennsylvania home of a city vendor where rates were cheaper.

Through the scam, Swinton saved herself some $3,000 a year on premiums since rates are cheaper in East Stroudsburg. Swinton also filed two insurance claims for accidents in NYC which cost her insurer $2,247, records show.

Officials say Swinton, 40, a resident of Staten Island, then registered for a Pennsylvania license using the East Stroudsburg, Penn., address of Tanya John as she continued to work in NYC earning an annual $161,871 salary. John has been charged in the crime as well.

On Wednesday, Swinton cut a deal with the Pennsylvania Attorney General, and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, a spokesperson said. Swinton was originally charged with six felony counts and one misdemeanor, before the plea deal.

Swinton was sentenced to three years’ probation and must pay $6,200 in restitution plus an $800 fine, the Post reports.

John, 44, is CEO of Feetz LLC. Swinton hired John to run “character development” programs and tutor students,

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The vendor has collected more than $1.3 million dollars from city schools since 2012 after securing contracts to run the program in the schools.

For her part, John, who is married to a New York City public schools teacher, must pay a $500 fine, and is on probation for 19 months. Her records will be able to qualify for expungement upon completion of serving her probation.

“When people commit insurance fraud, it causes premiums to rise for the folks who follow the rules,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement to the Post. “It’s wrong, and this sentencing and admission of guilt proves there will be consequences for this dishonest activity.”

Andrew Greenfield, a Port Richmond assistant principal since 2001, was named as interim acting principal to take Swinton’s place.