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NEWS IN BRIEF: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / La Canada Flintridge

Unlicensed Montessori School Faces Closure

November 03, 1998

Officials said they will move to shut down a Montessori school that opened Monday without a city occupancy permit and is connected to a couple convicted of failing to pay income taxes on money they admitted embezzling from the owners of a private school chain.

State Department of Social Services officials also said Monday that they will launch an investigation into the school, which does not have a license to hold preschool classes.

The school, called the Flintridge Montessori Academy, is being operated by the daughter of Alma and Manfred Prismantas. The Prismantas are scheduled to begin serving federal prison sentences in December for tax evasion after they admitted stealing more than $1.3 million from the Victory Montessori Schools Inc. and the Rose of Happiness Montessori School, authorities said.

The couple admitted diverting students' tuition checks into private bank accounts for five years, authorities said. Alma Prismantas was sentenced last week to 30 months in prison. Her husband received a 21-month sentence.

They had, until recently, operated both the Academy and the nonprofit Rose of Happiness school in leased space at La Canada's Church of the Lighted Window. After their conviction in July, a federal judge forbid them from operating any school.

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