Garland school chief admits falsifying immigration records

Victor Leos (Garland ISD photo)
Victor Leos (Garland ISD photo)

DALLAS (AP/KXAN) — A former administrator with a Dallas-area school district has admitted he received kickbacks and other benefits by falsifying immigration documents so that teachers from Latin America and elsewhere could work in his district.

Sixty-three-year-old Victor Leos pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to conspiracy to commit false statements on immigration documents.

Leos was the human resources director for Garland schools and prosecutors say that from 2007 to 2012 he worked with outside recruiters to bring more than 200 foreign teachers to Garland.

According to KXAS, Leos’ stepdaughter works at a law firm, and, according to the investigation, that firm handled all the immigration issues for Garland ISD. The district has since cut ties with the law firm.

He submitted false statements indicating qualified U.S. applicants could not be found for open positions so the bilingual teachers from abroad were necessary.

Foreign teachers he recruited later were denied citizenship and forced to leave the U.S. He would also charge teachers an orientation fee and make them sign a year lease with his stepson who had a rental home.

According to the investigation, many teachers were promised jobs at the district and were put in charge of classes without appropriate backgrounds to be in them.

Garland ISD said the falsified records cost the school more than half a million dollars.

He’s scheduled for sentencing in August and faces up to five years in prison.