Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ninth guilty plea in fraud in kids' feeding program

Posted By on Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 5:17 PM

The U.S. attorney in Little Rock has announced a ninth guilty plea in the investigation of fraud in the state's operation of a federally financed program to feed poor children meals during the summer.

Tonique Hatton, 39, of North Little Rock pleaded guilty today in federal court to conspiring to commit wire fraud and receiving a bribe. She'll be sentenced later. Hatton worked for the state Department of Human Services. She processed applications from sponsors to participate in the feeding program. The U.S. attorney said she took bribes and helped cover up deception by two co-defendants who received a total of $6 million for feeding programs in Helena, Marianna, Dermott, Dumas, Eudora and Lake Village.

Hatton is the ninth person to plead guilty concerning the theft of USDA feeding program funds for children. Previous charges filed in this investigation detail alleged fraud involving over $10 million in USDA feeding program funds.

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