Hopewell City Employee Sentenced to Prison for Fraud Conspiracy
RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond woman was sentenced today to two years in prison for her role in a conspiracy to defraud the City of Hopewell of funds intended for at-risk school children, and filing false tax returns.
According to court documents, Jamillah Karriem, 45, was employed by the City of Hopewell as the City’s Comprehensive Services Act (CSA) Coordinator. The Commonwealth of Virginia utilizes the CSA to provide state funding for services to high-risk children across the Commonwealth, and provides those state funds to localities, such as Hopewell. As the city’s CSA Coordinator, Karriem was responsible for directing CSA-funded contracts to service providers for at-risk school children in Hopewell.
In October 2011, Karriem directed a friend to form a business, A World of Possibilities (“WOP”), for the ostensible purpose of providing mentoring and counseling services to at-risk students at public schools in Hopewell. Karriem thereafter steered a CSA counseling services contract to WOP, and between November 2011 and June 2015, WOP billed the City of Hopewell for more than $480,000 worth of counseling services purportedly provided to a number of public school students. WOP did not actually provide any services to those students, however, and Karriem and her co-conspirator split the fraudulent proceeds. From 2012 to 2015, Karriem also filed four false tax returns, significantly under-reporting her income each year. Karriem’s total criminal tax loss amounts to at least $133,602.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge M. Hannah Lauck. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas A. Garnett and Kaitlin Cooke prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:19-cr-58.