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Valley tutor accused of molesting kids indicted on fraud charges

The Arizona Attorney General's Office says Brett Smith is accused of misrepresenting his background and credentials to get access to kids as a private tutor.

CHANDLER, Ariz. — An East Valley man who has been accused by multiple families of molesting students has been indicted by a grand jury for multiple charges related to fraud, according to the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

According to the AG's office, the indictment accuses Brett Smith, also known as Brett Zagorac, of "fraudulently misrepresenting his background and credentials to obtain private tutor employment and access to children as a private tutor."

The indictment also says Smith, on or between August 2019 and April 2020, misrepresented and omitted facts from a name change application with the Maricopa County Superior Court in order to get his name changed and conceal his past history of arrests and convictions for misdemeanor charges in Illinois and Indiana. 

Smith faces 15 counts, including two felony counts of forgery, felony perjury, felony fraudulent schemes and practices and 11 counts of felony fraudulent schemes and artifices. 

READ THE FULL INDICTMENT HERE

12 News has covered Brett Smith in the past. In 2020, 12 News confirmed at least six families reported him to Chandler PD and MCSO for inappropriately touching kids during tutoring sessions.

Victims told 12 News they believed he was trying to hide his past by changing his name.

Before working in Arizona, records show Smith was arrested at least 10 times in Illinois and Indiana for a variety of charges ranging from inappropriate touching to sexual abuse.  

In some cases, charges were dropped, but in three incidents, he was convicted of misdemeanor battery and served time in jail.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE ON THIS CASE:

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