Patrick and Joanne Panettieri accused of scamming Asian immigrants into paying for phony English classes

Authorities say the pair ran a similar scam back in 2002.

Authorities say the pair ran a similar scam back in 2002. (9/4/13)

BROOKLYN - A Brooklyn couple is facing fraud and grand larceny charges after allegedly running several phony schools to cheat immigrant families out of thousands of dollars.

Authorities say Patrick and Joanne Panettieri, ages 63 and 59, allegedly operated three English language schools in Sunset Park. They apparently collected $25,000 in tuition from Asian families, who found the schools to be closed when they arrived for classes.

Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes says the couple took the money and fled to Syracuse.

Investigators say they ran a similar scam back in 2002.

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