FORMER DSHS EMPLOYEE SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR STEALING FROM CHILD CARE PROGRAM
Financial Tech Conspired to Steal More than $100,000 with Phony Claims
JANICE MANN-WILSON, 33, of Kent, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 15 months in prison, three years of supervised release and $156,728.71 in restitution for conspiracy to commit theft of government funds and misuse of a social security number. MANN-WILSON conspired with others to submit false information to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to collect more than $150,000 in payments for child care services that were never provided.
According to records filed in the case, from 2006 through January 2008, MANN-WILSON was employed as a Financial Services Specialist at the Ballard Community Service office of DSHS. From May 2007 until she was terminated in January 2008, MANN-WILSON conspired to embezzle federal funds from the ‘Working Connections Child Care Program.’ MANN-WILSON trained a co-worker in the scheme, and involved her friends and family members as well. In essence, MANN-WILSON entered false information into the database, reporting that child care services were being provided in order to obtain checks for the child care. In some instances, MANN-WILSON used the social security numbers of children living out of state, or used false social security numbers or created fictitious children in order to obtain government checks. MANN-WILSON had many of the checks mailed to her sister’s home and then distributed them to the co-conspirators. These co-conspirators were paid for child care services they never provided and then gave a share of the money to MANN-WILSON. In some instances, MANN-WILSON and her co-conspirators claimed the child receiving care had “special needs” so the payment rate was increased. One conspirator was paid nearly $49,000 for care to non-existent children. All told $156,728 was embezzled in the scheme, which came to light when there was a falling out between the co-conspirators, and an anonymous letter was sent to DSHS alerting investigators to the fraudulent scheme.
In asking for a 37 month prison sentence, Special Assistant United States Attorney Johanna Vanderlee noted that MANN-WILSON was the ringleader of the conspiracy. “The public has a stake in knowing that government employees are not abusing their positions of trust and in knowing that public benefits intended for low-income, working families, are properly used. Defendant recruited relatives, friends, and a colleague into her lucrative conspiracy,” Ms. Vanderlee wrote in her sentencing memo.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), Department of Health and Human Services, and the Seattle Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Johanna Vanderlee. Ms. Vanderlee is an attorney with the Social Security Administration, specially designated to prosecute benefit fraud cases in federal court.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.