DC police officer’s family accused of residency fraud, sued for $775,000

A Maryland family, which includes a D.C. police officer and a D.C. social worker, is being sued for more than $775,000 after the District’s top prosecutor claimed they fraudulently sent their kids to the city’s public schools.

In all, D.C. is looking for $2.9 million in restitution from 10 Maryland and Virginia families who are the latest to be sued in a massive city investigation into residency fraud.

The office of D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine on Thursday named Officer Edward Smith as one of 16 parents who they say fraudulently claimed they lived in the District to avoid paying nonresident tuition for their children.

Smith and his wife, Rayna Bailey-Smith, who is a social worker with D.C. Child and Family Services, claimed District residency while living in Maryland and sent their four kids through DCPS for 13 years, according to the lawsuit.

In another case, the suit said, Latosha Joseph Francis sent her three kids to city schools for 13 years and claimed District Medicaid benefits while she was living in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Meanwhile, DCPS educational aide Julia White allowed her daughter to use her D.C. residency to send White’s grandchildren to District schools for four years, where they also received public benefits.

In three of the 10 suits filed, the families benefited from public benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Six of the 16 parents named in the suits are current or former D.C. government employees.

The suit said nonresident tuition runs between $10,000 and $14,000 a year.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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