Seven More Defendants Charged In Food Program Fraud
All About Giving, Inc. Probe Results In More Charges
A federal indictment was unsealed today charging seven more individuals for their roles in a conspiracy to defraud the United States Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), announced Donald Q. Cochran, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
On October 11, 2017, a federal grand jury in Nashville returned an indictment charging the following individuals with conspiracy to commit wire fraud:
Alice Dunlap, 62, of Murfreesboro, Tenn.;
Adrian Jennings, 23, of Madison, Tenn.,
Brian Jennings, 46, of Springfield, Tenn.;
Clarissa Jennings, 35, of Springfield, Tenn.;
Juanita Mitchell, 61, of Murfreesboro, Tenn.;
Nicole Golden, 41, of Hendersonville, Tenn.; and
Patsy Mathis, 73, of Knoxville, Tenn.
According to the indictment, these defendants claimed to be childcare providers and made application to participate as CACFP home childcare providers through All About Giving, Inc., the CACFP sponsor organization. The indictment also alleges that with the exception of Juanita Mitchell, all defendants are relatives or family members of LaShane Hayes, the founder of All About Giving, Inc.
The CACFP 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 (TDHS). The USDA and the TDHS utilize program sponsor organizations to enlist childcare providers into the program; communicate the total amount of reimbursement funds the sponsor organization’s providers were entitled to receive each month to the TDHS; and distribute reimbursement funds to childcare providers.
The indictment further alleges that the defendants and their co-conspirators, including Hayes, defrauded the program in a number of ways, including by overstating the number of All About Giving providers who actually furnished meals to children; by overstating the number of children who received meals from All About Giving providers in order to receive more program funds from the TDHS; and by cashing CACFP reimbursement checks and returning a portion of the money to Hayes.
Finally, the indictment alleges that between March 2015 and July 2016, the number of providers that All About Giving claimed reimbursement for grew from six to 75 and as of July 2016, All About Giving had received a total of $2,114,239 of CACFP funds from TDHS. The indictment alleges that each defendant received between $11,000 and $41,000 during this period.
LaShayne Hayes pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy earlier this year and admitted stealing more than $1.5 million of program funds. She was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger in April of this year to three months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. They also face forfeiture of the proceeds of their offenses.
An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The case was investigated by the USDA Office of Inspector General and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Leventis.