Former Director of Child and Adult Care Food Program Sponsor Agency Pleads Guilty to $1.5 Million Fraud
LaShane Hayes, 44, of La Vergne, Tennessee, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy and wire fraud after being charged with defrauding the United States Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) through her sponsor agency, All About Giving, Inc., announced David Rivera, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program was created to reimburse child care providers for meals served to low-income children and other qualifying individuals. The program is funded by the USDA and administered in Tennessee by the Tennessee Department of Human Services. Program sponsor organizations are responsible for, among other things, enlisting child care providers into the program, communicating the total amount of reimbursement funds the providers were entitled to receive each month to the Tennessee Department of Human Services and distributing reimbursement funds to child care providers.
According to the charging document and plea agreement, between March 2015 and July 2016, Hayes made monthly CACFP reimbursement requests to the Tennessee Department of Human Services knowing that these requests overstated the number of providers enrolled in CACFP through All About Giving; overstated the number of meals served to children by All About Giving providers and, therefore, caused the State of Tennessee to deposit more money into All About Giving’s bank account than All About Giving and its providers were entitled to receive.
During the same time frame, Hayes and her co-conspirators created fictitious provider records which, among other things, overstated the number of meals served to children and listed fictitious children’s names in an effort to create the appearance that All About Giving’s monthly reimbursement requests to the Tennessee Department of Human Services were accurate. Hayes and her co-conspirators also created fictitious provider lists which included individuals who were not providing any child care and physical addresses which do not exist. Hayes also wrote checks from All About Giving’s bank accounts to alleged child care providers in an effort to create the appearance that she was distributing meal reimbursement money to child care providers, however, after receiving these checks, many of the alleged providers would cash them and return a portion of the money they received to Hayes. Over $1.5 million of CACFP funds was defrauded by Hayes and her co-conspirators.
Hayes faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. She will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger on April 12, 2017. Her sentence will be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and applicable federal statutes.
This case was investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry C. Leventis.