Day Care Fraudsters Indicted

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

Owner and Employees of Chicago-Area Child Care Centers Charged With Defrauding Illinois Low-Income Daycare Program out of $6.1 Million

CHICAGO โ€” The owner of Chicago-area child care centers and several of her employees fraudulently schemed to pocket more than $6.1 million from a State of Illinois program designed to help low-income families afford child care, according to an indictment returned in federal court.

ALEESHA McDOWELL owned child care providers A&A Kiddy Kollege Inc. in Calumet City, A&A Kiddy Kollege 2 in Calumet Park, and Kreative Kidz Academy Inc., Kreative Kidz Academy II Inc., and Kreative Kidz Academy III Inc. in Chicago.  From 2012 to 2020, McDowell schemed with four directors of her centers and others to defraud the Illinois Department of Human Servicesโ€™ Child Care Assistance Program by submitting and causing the submission of materially false information, including fraudulent paystubs and income verification letters, regarding a parentโ€™s eligibility to qualify for state subsidy payments, the indictment states.  McDowell and the co-schemers also assisted parents in completing false IDHS applications that fraudulently caused the state to issue subsidy payments to the centers, the indictment alleges.  As a result of the scheme, the defendants caused IDHS to suffer a loss of at least $6.1 million, the indictment states.

The charges accuse McDowell of spending some of the criminally derived money on a 2017 Bentley Bentayga and a house in Mokena, Ill.


McDowell, 41, of Mokena, is charged with 12 counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.  Also charged with wire fraud are NICOLE LACEY, 36, of Burnham, Ill., who worked as director at AAKK and AAKK-2 (ten counts); STACY SIMS, 43, of Chicago, director at KKA-2 (two counts); JANELLE JORDAN, 40, of Chicago, director at KKA-3 (three counts); LAUREN COLEY, 40, of Phoenix, Ariz., director at AAKK and KKA (two counts); SHAVON JOHNSON, 47, of Country Club Hills, Ill. (four counts); and SEAN BLUNT, 44, of Matteson, Ill. (two counts).

The indictment was ordered unsealed on Monday.  Most of the defendants have made initial appearances in federal court in Chicago.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; Tamera Cantu, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago; and Anthony Mohatt, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Midwest Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General in Chicago.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Hernandez and Kate McClelland.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.


Day Care Fraudsters Indicted — 12 Comments

  1. Oh no! Who’s gonna look after Little Eddie while his mom is at work now ? ๐Ÿ˜

  2. DisHonestAbe1, you will take care of me. Remember, we’re married now. ๐Ÿ˜

  3. There’s no need for mugshots. The suspects are African American. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘ฎ

  4. African Americans are not the only ones committing these crimes.

    Question the lifestyles of others living in these million dollar homes with expensive cars….

    everyone didn’t win the lotto, get a degree, inheritance, etc.

    I’d love to see who else is wearing a false mask, and I don’t mean the one for Co-vid either!

  5. J.D., of course not. ๐Ÿ˜

    In the post, the names especially and the south suburban Cook County towns gave the suspects’ race away.

  6. Yup, show us the pictures of all of them — behind bars, preferrably.

    Give you one choice as to how they voted in the election.

    Could well be their last vote.

    To wit: Pigs eat, when the get fat — they go to slaughter.

  7. Yup, show us the pictures of all of them — behind bars, preferrably.

    Give you one choice as to how they voted in the election.

    Could well be their last vote.

    To wit: Pigs eat, when the get fat — they go to slaughter.

    And yes, white collar crime is much worse that what these ladies did. At least they were trying to help the kids and their parents —– they just saw an opportunity and pounced.

    There should be methods so it does not take 8 years to catch them.

    A Bentley and 10,000 sq ft house is a bit much.

    And yup, lots of people with masks — like traders making hundreds of millions.

    Cut these ladies a break.

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