Tag Archives: #Theft

2009: Klug convicted of foreign student fraud

Fayette Klug was sentenced on charges of theft by deception and unauthorized use of a financial transaction device. The victims were a Chinese exchange student and a Norwegian exchange student. She was both host-mother and sponsor-representative. Following is an extract from an article by Trisha Schulz at

The Norfolk Daily News

Posted: Friday, July 24, 2009 12:00 am

Judge Robert Ensz sentenced 35-year-old Fayette Klug to one to three years in prison on charges of theft by deception and unauthorized use of a financial transaction device. …

Ensz said a greater sentence would’ve been justified in the case, but he went along with a recommendation by the Madison County attorney’s office.

The two foreign exchange students – one from Norway and one from China – were placed in Klug’s home about a year ago and attended Battle Creek High School.

Klug asked the two girls for money to cover expenses while they were in the U.S. and used their prepaid credit cards to make unauthorized charges.

The two students didn’t understand that Klug was actually being reimbursed by the foreign exchange student placement company and didn’t need to pay her themselves.

The foreign exchange placement company, STS Foundation, repaid the girls in full. The total amount taken was more than $10,000, …

Ensz … particularly pointed out Klug’s past criminal history, which included a previous theft by deception and issuing bad checks.

He then sentenced her to prison and ordered her to pay the costs of prosecution.

STS Foundation sought restitution from Klug …

The entire article may be read at The Norfolk Daily News

Case progression:

  • 2008 Oct 11: Woman allegedly steals $10,000-plus from live-in foreign exchange students
    • The girls also told Bowersox that they were locked in the basement apartment area that they shared. At the time, Klug told them it was an accident – that the door was broken. …. Both students were removed from the Klug residence earlier this week. …. Why Klug was even hosting foreign exchange students has become a point of investigation because she is a convicted felon.


    2008 Nov 04: Foreign exchange student incident under review by federal department

  • 2008 Nov 18: Bank records obtained
  • 2008 Dec 19: Woman accused of stealing enters plea
    • Klug was arrested Oct. 10. She appeared Thursday in court in jail clothing and was represented by the Madison County Public Defender’s office.

  • 2009 Jun 09: Plea agreement offered in fraud of foreign exchange students
    • Thirty-five-year-old Fayette Klug pleaded no contest to theft by deception (over $1,500), a Class II felony, and unauthorized use of a financial transaction device, a Class I misdemeanor, … The foreign exchange placement company in which Klug worked for – STS Foundation – has been scrutinized for allowing Klug to host foreign exchange students in the first place because of her being a prior convicted felon. She was sentenced in 2006 for a theft by deception charge to 264 days in jail.

2008 Nov 04: Foreign exchange student incident under review by federal department

Posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 12:00 am
Special to the Daily News

There have been no sanctions against an Arizona foreign exchange student placement company, but three incidents currently are under review, including one involving students placed in the care of a convicted Norfolk felon.

Darlene Kirk of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State said STS Foundation reported two of those situations themselves. Both of those incidents involved host fathers.

The third situation came under review after a Daily News article was published regarding the arrest of Fayette Klug of Norfolk.

Klug is accused of stealing more than $10,000 from two foreign exchange students in her care. Klug was a representative of STS Foundation even though she is a convicted felon.

“When we receive word of an incident involving the health, safety or welfare of a student, we contact the sponsor to ask for a report on the situation,” Kirk said. “This includes incidents or allegations of actual or alleged sexual exploitation or abuse, and serious problems or controversies which could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Department of State.”

Since the three incidents are under review, Kirk declined further comment.

When an incident comes to the attention of the department, standard operating procedure dictates that the sponsor, such as STS, send in a full report including copies of host family applications, proof of criminal background checks and personal references, a detailed profile of the school, family and community in which the student was placed, among other information.

STS told Mike Bowersox of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office that it ran a standard criminal history check and the database turned up no convictions on Klug.

STS became a program sponsor in 1986 and currently has 393 active high school student participants.

STS has paid back some of the money that was stolen from the two students.

© 2014 The Norfolk Daily News

2010 Aug 10: Former host mother accused of welfare fraud

This article is number two in the series about Donnapha Kuppatikasem and her host mother Laura Ely. As with the previous article, this one was originally aired on WWMT.com (Newschannel 3) but can no longer be found on their site. This, too, was found on dreamindemon.com and has been copied to this blog.


DonnaphaKuppatikasem, nick-named Tak,is determined to become a doctor, but now she’s in a fight to stay in the U.S. until she can finish her medical degree.Sadly,thatdreammay be crushed. Tak’s former host mother, Laura Ely,is accused of draining Tak’s savings account.Thataccountwassupposedto be used to pay for tuition.Without the money, and without being in school, Tak could be deported.On TuesdayNewschannel 3 sat down to speak with Tak about her struggle to stay in the U.S.”At first I didn’t believe that she did it,” said Tak.Tak says she couldn’t believe that her host mother would steal from her.

“I lived with her for three and a half years and I trust her,” said Tak, “so she pretty much like a second mom to me.”

The Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students says that Tak’s case is not one of a kind.

“Exchange students are commonly extorted monies more than we know,” said Danielle Grijalva, Director of CSFES.

Tak says bank records show that Ely took at least $57,000 from her and her family.

“As of right now, everything we had, it’s gone,” said Tak.

Now staying with long-time friends, Tak is trying to figure out what to do next. She’s already earned more than 60 college credit hours, but now tuition that should have been paid for is past due and WMU says if she doesn’t start making payments by September 7th she could be deported.

Despite her setbacks, Tak says she’s trying not to be angry.

“If she, as an alleged victim of extortion, and if she is forced to be repatriated back to her home country through no fault of her own, that’s a huge injustice in and of itself,” said Grijalva.

WMU says they’ve already eliminated $1,100 in late fees and credited Tak with $6,200 more for tuition from her spring semester, but she still owes more than $11,000 that she doesn’t have because it was stolen from her.

“It’s going to be the end of my dream, I cannot do that without this money,” said Tak.

If Tak doesn’t pay $2,800 by September 7th her student visa will expire and she will be deported. She will also lose all her college credits and will not be eligible for another visa for ten years.

After five years in the U.S. she’ll have to go back to Thailand and start saving money all over again.

A fund has been set up to help Tak pay for tuition, you can donate at the Citizen’s Bank in Colon. The account is under Tak’s full name, Donnapha Kuppatikasem.

The Citizen’s Bank in Colon is at 121 E. State Street, Colon, MI. The phone number there is 269-432-3125.

2009 Jun 29: Boskatt sentenced for forgery and theft from exchange student

Article written by Tasha Kates in 2006 about a town that takes responsibility for a host-mother’s theft and forgery of exchange student’s money. It shows just how very important it is for outsiders to keep an eye on exchange students while they stay with their host-families.

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

… Nigina Khamidova’s … an exchange student from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, … a victim of forgery and petit larceny at the hands of her host mother. … Ranelle Boskat … took a plea deal last week. …

Boskat was charged May 31 with two counts each of second-degree forgery and petit larceny. … The stolen checks came to light after one day when Khamidova was stranded at Lockport High School for five hours. The student said it wasn’t unusual for her to have trouble getting to and from school; Khamidova and the Boskats moved to North Tonawanda during the school year and she had to be driven to school each day. … After a call from Boskat, Champagne dropped by and got Khamidova that night. The neighbor learned that Khamidova had not seen any of the local sights during her months-long stay with the Boskats. … A few days later, she spoke to AYUSA and Khamidova came to live with her. She later revealed that she had only seen one of her pocket money checks during her entire time in the United States. … She was reportedly told that the checks never came. Without a contact number for a student exchange group or for the Uzbekistan embassy, Khamidova wasn’t sure who to tell about the checks. … After some prodding by Champagne, the exchange group sent a check for more than $900 to cover the money taken by Boskat.

Things have been looking up for Khamidova ever since. She and Champagne’s family have spent time trying different foods, shopping for clothes and presents for her family and visiting the county’s sites. Khamidova went to the prom with friends last week and went through a graduation ceremony with her fellow seniors. …

Read the entire article at Lockport Journal

2006 Jul 15: Host-mother gets away with theft and inappropriate behavior

Neither PAX nor the US State Department took responsibility for their failure in taking care of , from Ghana.

The Reporter

By Julie Kay//Staff Writer | Posted: 11/06/06, 12:01 AM PST

The 30-year-old Vacaville woman investigated on suspicion of stealing money from and behaving inappropriately with an exchange student she hosted last fall will not be charged with any crime, according to the Solano County District Attorney’s Office.

… the New York-based PAX will likely avoid penalty. … The young man spent last year as a student at Vacaville High School. He excelled in his classes and played on the school’s soccer team.

His first few weeks were tough. PAX originally placed the then-17-year-old in a Trower neighborhood home Rotary Club members describe as “dilapidated.” Within weeks, the young man told a teammate and a school counselor that his host mother there had stolen his money.

In October, the young man moved to the home of Michelle Dickey, who had volunteered to take him in. The Rotary Club also “adopted” him, taking him sightseeing and providing him a monthly stipend. … Dickey discovered inappropriate e-mails on her computer from the first host mother to the young man. She confronted the student, who … agreed to go to police to report the alleged theft and inappropriate behavior … officers videotaped interviews with the young man, Dickey, and the first host mother, obtained copies of bank records, and confiscated the original host mother’s computer for evidence. Officers made multiple unsuccessful attempts to locate the host mother again, they said. They eventually handed the case over to the district attorney for further investigation. Last month, district attorney officials said they had closed the case, lacking sufficient evidence to prosecute it. …

PAX President Libby Cryer … admitted this week she knew about the e-mails to the young man from the first host mother, but defended her decision not to report them to the State Department, despite federal law which requires the reporting of questionable behavior on the part of host family members.

“PAX staff, both the community representative and senior staff in the national office, spoke personally with [the exchange student] to confirm that he did not wish to pursue this matter,” she replied in an e-mail to Reporter staff last week.

… The law states clearly that all inappropriate behavior on the part of any host family member must be reported to the State Department, regardless of whether the student asks for it to be reported or not.

Read the entire article at The Reporter