Wilkes-Barre Area School administrators want an audit to investigate whether its solicitor overcharged the district for services.
The solicitor is the same attorney who is accused in a lawsuit of swindling tens of thousands of dollars, at least, in an investment scheme.
Wilkes-Barre Area Superintendent Dr. Jeff Namey said the school board will vote Thursday night to have a forensic audit ordered because in 2011 the district’s solicitor, Tony Lupas, billed the district a whopping $328,000.
He is also accused of running a Ponzi scheme, scamming millions of dollars out of investors.
When Barbara Garey’s husband, John, passed away in 2006, she said attorney Tony Lupas convinced her to pour her life savings into his investment fund, all $125,000, intended for her children and grandchildren.
Garey said in January she stopped getting her monthly interest checks in the mail and couldn’t locate attorney Lupas. She said she called his son, Judge David Lupas, who told her all the money is gone. There is nothing left.
Garey said she is one of dozens of victims of an alleged Ponzi scheme ran by attorney Lupas.
“He was pretty smart, wasn’t he, to fool us all. He was real smooth and it makes me feel bad that there’s a lot of people that are in worse shape than I am right now,” Garey said.
She added she now lives off her pension and monthly Social Security payments. She said she was interviewed by the Secret Service who told her there are more victims out there and that Lupas may have scammed much more from the victims.
An attorney filed documents on behalf of three families earlier this week and said they invested hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.
Garey said Lupas was a family friend for more than 50 years.
“Oh no, never, never, not in a million years. I never thought I was going to be a senior citizen that would get scammed, but I did. Yep,” Garey added.
Attorney Lupas hasn’t been seen or heard from in several weeks.
Wilkes-Barre Area Superintendent Dr. Namey calls the allegations against attorney Lupas shocking.