Another plea entered in multi-million-dollar food program fraud | Arkansas Blog

Friday, October 6, 2017

Another plea entered in multi-million-dollar food program fraud

Posted By on Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 4:40 PM

The U.S. attorney announced another guilty plea today in the investigation fraud of a federal program to feed poor children administered by the state Human Services Department.

Elbert Harris, 57, of Pine Bluff, pleaded guilty to wire fraud. A news release said Harris, who'll be sentenced later, stole more than $1 million.

He's the 14th person to plead guilty to charges related to taking more than $10 million dollars in a program to provide after-school and summer meals to low-income neighborhoods. Said the news release:

At Friday’s hearing, Harris admitted that between 2012 and 2015, he was a sponsor for the feeding program through “Greater Faith Ministries,” which had feeding locations in Pine Bluff, Altheimer, and Wabbaseka. Harris operated 14 feeding sites. He falsely claimed that he served up to 175 children at some of his feeding sites, greatly inflating the number of children who were actually served. Harris submitted approximately 44 claims. Because of the inflated claims, Harris received a total of approximately $1,390,961.05 from DHS.

The investigation is ongoing.

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