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Embezzlers Must Pay Restitution, Judge Rules

A federal judge ruled Monday that a couple convicted of tax evasion after they admitted embezzling from a Montessori school chain must pay $611,000 in restitution.

U.S. District Judge Harry Hupp also ruled that Alma and Manfred Prismantas, who until recently operated schools in La Canada, should begin their respective 30-month and 21-month prison sentences beginning Jan. 4.

The couple have admitted diverting more than $1 million from the Victory Montessori Schools chain and another nonprofit school they owned in La Canada Flintridge.

An attorney for the couple argued in court Monday that they had no money to make restitution.

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Hupp determined that $611,000 was owed to Victory, which operates Montessori schools in San Marino, Sierra Madre and West Covina. He also decided the Prismantases will have to pay unpaid taxes totaling $436,000.

While the Prismantases were embezzling from Victory, they loaned its owners, Linda and Tom Tindall, $185,000 to keep the business operating, it was revealed in court Monday.


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