Thursday, March 31, 2016

Food program fraud tops $10 million

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 7:25 AM

The U.S. attorney in Little Rock announced a seventh guilty plea in its investigation of fraud in the state-run program to pass federal money to nonprofit organizations to feed poor children after school and during the summer

Gladys Waits, 36, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and receipt of a bribe. She was a state Human Services Department employee and processed applications from sponsors of the feeding program. She took bribes and approved inflated claims, the government said in a news release.

The seven guilty pleas cover more than $5 million in fraud, Attorney Chris Thyer's office said. A government news release said previous charges run the fraud total to $10.5 million.

So many questions. Did DHS routinely send people around to see if kids were actually being served at the places that receive such money? How many people, beyond those charged, had  some inkling something was up, such as by a high lifestyle by people nominally serving poor children? And, for strictly prurient interest, how was that $10 million spent? Does the government have a means to recapture cars, bling, clothes and other tangible dividends of the thievery? Or has it just disappeared — as the government's money did? I'm guessing the money probably didn't go into stock market index funds or similar sound investments to provide for old age of the thieves.

Here's the detailed news release with names, programs and more.

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