Jordan Pleads Guilty In Scheme To Steal Feeding Program Funds
Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas announced today that Kattie Jordan, 50, of Dermott, pled guilty to Count 1 of the Superseding Indictment charging her with conspiring to commit wire fraud. The charge relates to a conspiracy to fraudulently obtain United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) program funds intended to feed children in low income areas during the school year and summer.
Today’s plea hearing took place in Little Rock before United States District Judge Susan Webber Wright.
"Jordan and others stole money that was intended to feed poor and hungry children," Thyer said. "We are pleased that Ms. Jordan has accepted responsibility for her conduct. We are committed to investigating and prosecuting those who abuse a system designed to help those in need."
In April 2015, a federal grand jury returned a Superseding Indictment against Gladys Elise Waits, f/k/a Gladys Elise King, Tonique D. Hatton, Jacqueline D. Mills, and Kattie Lannie Jordan, charging them with conspiring to fraudulently obtain USDA program funds. Additionally, Mills is charged with wire fraud, paying bribes, and engaging in money laundering. King and Hatton are charged with accepting bribes. The Superseding Indictment seeks forfeiture of the proceeds obtained as a result of the fraud.
King and Hatton worked for the Arkansas Department of Human Services, and part of their job was to determine eligibility of sponsors to participate in the feeding programs. Jordan and Mills operated as sponsors for separate feeding programs. King and Hatton were responsible for approving Jordan’s and Mills’ programs at various times.
The Superseding Indictment alleges that Mills and Jordan made bribe payments to King and Hatton. Mills and Jordan submitted claims for many more meals than they actually served, and King and Hatton approved these inflated numbers so the programs could receive DHS payments.
King, Hatton, and Mills are scheduled to stand trial beginning January 4, 2016. The statutory penalty for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud is not more than 20 years imprisonment, not more than a $250,000 fine, or both, and not more than 3 years supervised release. The statutory penalty for receipt of bribes, paying bribes, and money laundering is not more than 10 years imprisonment, not more than a $250,000 fine, or both, and not more than 3 years supervised release.
Jordan will be sentenced by Judge Wright at a later date.
The investigation remains ongoing and is conducted by the United States Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, United States Department of Agriculture—Office of Inspector General, and the United States Marshals Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jana K. Harris and Allison W. Bragg. If anyone is aware of any fraudulent activity regarding feeding programs, please email that information to the United States Attorney’s office at USAARE.FeedingProgramFraud@usdoj.gov.