Attorney General Mayes Announces Indictments in ESA Program

PHOENIX – Attorney General Kris Mayes today announced that the State Grand Jury has indicted multiple individuals for allegedly engaging in fraud, conspiracy, computer tampering, illegally conducting an enterprise, money laundering and forgery related to the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) Program.

Dolores Lashay Sweet, Dorrian Lamarr Jones, Jennifer Lopez, Jadakah Celeste Johnson, and Raymond Lamont Johnson, Jr. are accused of multiple felonies in this scheme. Sweet, Jones, and Lopez are former employees of the Arizona Department of Education. Jadakah Johnson and Raymond Lamont Johnson, Jr. are the adult children of Ms. Sweet.

The indictments filed this week in Maricopa County Superior Court alleges that the goal of the conspiracy was for defendants to obtain funds and/or property from the ESA program for personal use.

Defendants approved ESA applications for minor students, both real and fictitious, and admitted them into the program by using false, forged or fraudulent documentation (i.e. fake birth certificates, and falsified special education evaluations). They then awarded those students' accounts ESA funds, and approved expenses for reimbursement or funds for distribution on behalf of those students for their own benefit.

The case was investigated by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The investigation remains ongoing.