$1.3 Million Child Care Fraud Subsidy Convictions, Plus $300 Million in New Opportunities Announced by Pritzker

From the U.S. Attorney in Springfield:

Four People Plead Guilty to Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Money Laundering Charges

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Four individuals have pleaded guilty over the past three months to mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering charges that were related to schemes involving the submissions of fraudulent claims for childcare services to the Illinois Department of Human Services that resulted in a loss of approximately $1,300,000 to the State of Illinois and the United States. T

he individuals are:

  • Tarnavis Lee, 42, of the 6200 block of W. 80h Street in Burbank, Illinois;
  • Demetra Jackson, 42, of the 2700 block of W. 64th Street in Chicago, Illinois;
  • LaShanda Hudson, 40, of the 6700 block of S. Maplewood in Chicago; and
  • Elizabeth McFarland, 47, of the 600 block of Rothwood Avenue in Madison, Tennessee.

According to the three indictments charging the defendants, as well as their plea agreements, the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) administered the Child Care Assistance Program, which was partially funded by the federal government.

The program paid for childcare services for low-income parents while they worked or participated in approved educational programs.

Each of the individuals charged engaged in schemes to defraud DHS by submitting claims for childcare services that were not provided or not provided to the extent claimed.

As part of their schemes, Lee and Hudson also paid a total of more than $160,000 in kickback payments to parents participating in the program in exchange for the parents allowing their personal information and that of their children to be used to submit false and fraudulent childcare claims to DHS.

On September 8, 2021, Lee pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to two counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and two counts of money laundering, as charged in two separate indictments.

As part of the plea agreement, she agreed that she caused a loss to the United States and the State of Illinois of $913,390.66. Lee’s sentencing is scheduled for January 6, 2022.

On October 12, 2021, Jackson pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to one count of wire fraud.

As part of the plea agreement, she agreed that she caused a loss to the United States and the State of Illinois of approximately $250,000. Her sentencing is scheduled for February 9, 2022.

On October 25, 2021, McFarland pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to one count of wire fraud.

As part of the plea agreement, she agreed that she caused a loss to the United States and the State of Illinois of $228,301.31. Her sentencing is scheduled for February 24, 2022.

On November 3, 2021, Hudson pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.

As part of the plea agreement, she agreed that she caused a loss to the United States and the State of Illinois of $421,875.97. Her sentencing is scheduled for March 4, 2022.

The statutory penalties for each count of mail and wire fraud are up to 20 years of imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, up to a $250,000 fine, and a mandatory $100 special assessment.

The statutory penalties for each count of money laundering are up to 20 years of imprisonment; up to 3 years of supervised release; a fine up to $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transactions, whichever is greater, or both; and a mandatory $100 special assessment.

All defendants remain free on bond pending sentencing. The scheduled sentencings are set to take place at the federal courthouse in Springfield, Illinois.

The cases were the result of a joint investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, St. Louis Field Office, and the Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau, Central Division.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass represented the government in the prosecution.

= = = = =

On the same day, Governor JB Pritzker announce:

Gov. Pritzker Announces $300 Million in Nation-Leading Child Care Recovery Grants

State Surpasses $1 Billion in Child Care Provider Relief Grants Since Pandemic Began

New Funding Will Help Recruit and Retain a Robust Early Childhood Workforce

CHICAGO – Governor JB Pritzker and Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Grace B. Hou today announced that $300 million in new relief grants will be made available to child care providers across the state.

The state is also extending a previous grant program by providing nearly $50 million to previous grant recipients.

This brings the state’s child care pandemic relief grant total to more than $1 billion.

Hailed as a national model, Illinois’ child care grant program has provided unprecedented stability for the industry, with 97 percent of 2020’s grant recipients still open and operating today. Already, $725 million in funding has reached more than 5,000 providers, with 85 percent of eligible child care centers and 40 percent of licensed family child care homes receiving direct relief.

“Illinois was heralded as a leader in supporting our child care ecosystem at the beginning of the pandemic, and we never stopped – today we’re surpassing $1 billion in grant funding for providers since the pandemic began,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Supporting this sector is one of the best investments we can make as a state. We’re making good on our pledge to turn Illinois into the best state in the nation for families to raise young children.”

“Strengthening the child care infrastructure lays the groundwork for uplifting families across our state, and this additional funding builds upon our administration’s historic efforts to support children from the first years of life,” said Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton. “We are committed to advancing equity for the most marginalized communities in Illinois, and ensuring young children and families have access to affordable, quality child care opens up so many opportunities to a brighter future. I’m proud of the work we have accomplished, and I look forward to continuing our mission of making Illinois the best state to raise a family.”

Applications for this newest round of funding are due in early January, with funding beginning to flow in February 2022 and through January 2023. This will support child care providers with approximately $25,000 per classroom per year, child care group homes with $15,000 per year, and child care homes with approximately $10,000 per year. With an eye toward equity, additional funding will be made available for programs that demonstrate they reach underserved communities. These grants will support providers with predictable funding to cover increased wages and other operational costs.

To help recruit and retain staff, at least 50 percent of these funds must be invested in new personnel and workforce initiatives, with a focus on increasing compensation and benefits.

In addition to the new $300 million grant program, Governor Pritzker and Secretary Hou announced today a $45 million, six-month extension to the Child Care Restoration Grants to best assist providers not eligible for the new round of grants.

“Governor Pritzker’s leadership has made it possible for Illinois to secure quality care for children across the state, helping them learn and grow in a safe environment,” said Grace B. Hou, Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services. “With this investment, we will help more kids and working families thrive.”

“Governor Pritzker is a trailblazer for early childhood education. It is clear he is committed to making Illinois the best state in the country to raise young children,” said Kirstin Chernawsky, Director of the Division of Early Childhood, Illinois Department of Human Services.

The administration’s comprehensive support programming has prevented the mass closure of child care facilities across the state and provided parents with safe places to care for their children as they reenter the workforce. Among various programs to help working families, the Governor decreased Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) co-pays for 80 percent of participating families. Families with incomes below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level have seen their monthly co-pays reduced to $1. 

This next batch of relief dollars is one of three child care initiatives Governor Pritzker announced in September. In addition to the relief grants for providers, the Governor announced the low-cost child care program for parents and guardians looking for work, as well as a bonus of up to $1,000 for eligible child care workers. The bonuses are currently in the process of being paid out, and once fully disbursed, will total $100 million.

“We thank Governor Pritzker for his commitment to the early childhood education network that serves as a pillar in the community. These grants allow us to operate high quality care and programming for our youngest children. The administration’s comprehensive support for effective programs has made a tremendous impact across the state and provided parents with safe places to care for their children as they reenter the workforce,” said Edgar Ramirez, President and CEO, Chicago Commons.

“Child Care workers play a vital role in making sure that parents can get to work and provide for their families. We owe it to parents to ensure that their children have proper care when they’re on the job,” said State Senator Robert J. Peters (D-Chicago).

“Every single child in Illinois deserves quality care, and I’m thankful for Governor Pritzker’s leadership with this program.  It’s clear that we won’t let the COVID 19 pandemic prevent quality care for our youngest children,” said State Representative LaShawn K. Ford (D-Chicago).

Today’s announcement builds and furthers the Governor’s commitment and financial support to the early childhood system throughout the pandemic. 

Application information about the newest round of grants and Restoration Grant extension will be available for providers through the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).

Currently, more than 95,000 Illinois children are served through the CCAP. For more information on child care support opportunities, visit the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Early Childhood.


Comments

$1.3 Million Child Care Fraud Subsidy Convictions, Plus $300 Million in New Opportunities Announced by Pritzker — 4 Comments

  1. Why doesn’t lazy Lausch investigate the criminals in the US and various state governments, agencies and courts?

    Hiw about these crimes?:

    Stripped us of all of our Constitutional rights (except the Second Amendment!)
    Collapsed the economy and destroyed many small businesses
    Flooded us with primitive third world savages
    Declared white people (native American population) to be terrorists
    Promoted negro riots and violence
    Censored anyone who questions them
    Forced racial integration
    Legalized gay anal sex
    Legalized interracial marriage
    Gave women the right to vote
    Gave homosexuals direct access to children
    Legalized pornography
    Ran a years-long Russian conspiracy hoax that they designed and knew from the beginning was fake
    Allowed Jewish bankers total dominance of the US economy
    Forced us to fight meaningless wars for Israel
    Overturned the most important presidential election in history through obvious fraud
    Classified people as terrorists for protesting election fraud and school board faggotry
    Coercively vaccinated most of the population with a dangerous gene therapy, claiming it will save them from a virus that doesn’t exist
    Injected children
    Forced people to wear face masks
    Destroyed the middle class
    Completely opened the borders and put all of the savages on welfare
    Allowed millions to die from opioid overdoses
    Destroyed the energy sector
    Promoted gay sex to children
    Injected children with tranny hormones
    Mutilated children’s genitals
    Taught gay anal sex in schools
    Banned prayer from schools
    Legalized no-fault divorce and therefore destroyed the institution of marriage
    Legalized abortion
    Established family courts which give children to women after they leave their husbands
    Promoted women to positions of power over men
    Given unlimited economic and social privileges to nonwhites
    Purposefully driven down the white birthrate
    Tried to force people who refuse the vax out of society
    Spied on everyone
    Created a track and trace system in the name of medical tyranny
    Allowed the Israeli Mossad to run a blackmail ring (Epstein
    Given billions upon billions to Israel
    Destroyed the education system on purpose
    Locked everyone in their houses
    Implemented cheat by mail

  2. Hey Jumbo how about getting our pissed away stolen Tax $$ back instead of asking for MORE!

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