Couple Plead Guilty to Embezzling $1.3 Million

Two former administrators for a Pasadena company that operates several Montessori schools have pleaded guilty to federal income tax evasion after embezzling $1.3 million from the business, authorities said Monday.

Alma Prismantas, 52, former administrator of Victory Montessori Schools Inc. and her husband, Manfred Prismantas, a former director of Victory’s Arroyo Vista Academy in La Canada Flintridge, face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, Assistant U.S. Atty. David Lavine said. They also must repay the money, he said.

Between 1990 and 1995, the couple diverted student tuition checks to their accounts at Bank of America, according to prosecutors. The checks mostly were from parents of students who attended Victory schools--San Marino Montessori School, the Enchanted Castle in Pasadena, the Learning Center in West Covina and Foothill Montessori School in San Dimas.

Money also was illegally diverted from a school owned by the Prismantases, the Rose of Happiness Montessori School in La Canada Flintridge, officials said.


The couple, officials said, understated their income in those years by $1.17 million. The Prismantases, who live in La Crescenta, were unavailable for comment.

The Prismantases are scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 21 in federal court.