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Couple Sentenced for Income Tax Evasion

October 23, 1998

A La Crescenta couple have been sentenced to federal prison for failing to pay income taxes on more than $1 million they took from two Montessori schools in La Canada.

Alma Prismantas, 52, received a 30-month sentence while her husband, Manfred, 55, was sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to income tax evasion before U.S. District Judge Harry L. Hupp on Monday.

For five years, the couple diverted tuition checks from parents of students enrolled at Victory Montessori Schools, where they worked as administrators, and at the Rose of Happiness School, which they owned.

They admitted using the money for personal expenses, including home mortgage and car payments.

After hearing from the owners of Victory Montessori Schools, Hupp scheduled another hearing for Nov. 30 to consider whether to increase the amount of restitution that the couple should pay.

The Prismantases have not been charged with embezzlement. A prosecutor at the Los Angeles County district attorney's office declined to comment on any investigation of those allegations until the federal proceedings are concluded.

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