Florida Teacher Certification Preparation Company Owners Convicted of Blackmail Conspiracy and Conspiracy to Commit Theft of Business Secrets

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CW44 News At 10) -ā€“ Kathleen M. Jasper, 43, and Jeremy M. Jasper, 41, of Estero, Florida, were today sentenced to ten months and four months in federal prison, respectively, plus six months of incarceration in the home, after previously pleading guilty to charges of vandalism conspiracy and conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets. The verdicts were announced by Jason R. Coody, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

“The defendants’ profiteering system is an insult to the dedicated elementary school teachers and administrators in Florida who studied and worked hard to become certified in their profession,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “Floridians expect and deserve to know that the public schools that they leave their children to learn are led by teachers and administrators who have obtained their certifications. Today’s sentence repeats a valuable but basic lesson. Especially that hard work and diligence is rewarded, but acts of theft and dishonesty, as demonstrated by these defendants, must be punished. “

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Legal documents reflect since January 2016 that Jaspers, both certified Florida teachers, stole content and conspired with others to steal content from the Florida Teacher Certification Exams (FTCE) and Florida Educational Leadership Exam (FELE), and included the stolen content. in test preparation materials and services sold through their company, NavaEd, LLC (“NavaEd”) for personal gain.

NavaEd, LLC, was a company that offered guidance and training to prepare potential Florida educators to successfully take and pass the FTCE and FELE. Passing these exams is required for certification in the state of Florida. NavaEd offered training publications for sale worldwide directly through its website and through third-party e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Shopify. Both Kathleen and Jeremy Jasper took the FTCE and FELE several times – after already passing the exams – to see and remember, or reap, as many different exam questions as possible. After being prevented by the Florida Department of Education from receiving multiple offers from the FTCE and FELE, Jasper instructed NavaEd staff and independent contractors to take the FTCE and FELE for the purpose of harvesting exam questions and answers.

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These so-called ‘educators’ deliberately and deliberately abused the unsuspecting teachers who trusted them. Jaspers bullied their employees into committing crimes to get their own pockets, and that’s unacceptable, “said Reginald France, the United States Department of Education’s special agent in the Inspector General’s Southeast Regional Office. “I am proud of the work of our special agents and colleagues in holding these criminals accountable for their illegal actions.”

Jaspers and NavaEd customers shared the stolen FTCE and FELE test content, and Jaspers republished the stolen FTCE and FELE test content – verbatim and almost verbatim – in NavaEd publications written to prepare future Florida teachers and school administrators for the certification exams. These publications and other NavaEd FTCE and FELE preparation materials were also disseminated and used during NavaEd training seminars and guidance sessions.

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The imprisonment of both defendants will be followed by three years of supervised release. The court ordered both defendants to pay approximately $ 135,000 in restitution to the State of Florida Department of Education and also handed down a judgment of $ 690,879.96 against both defendants. As part of the judgments, the Court ordered the forfeiture of the NavaEd website (www.NavaEd.com), several electronic devices and NavaEd publications concerning FTCE and FELE.

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