December 22, 2010

Welfare Fraud Ringleader Sentenced to Prison

LOS ANGELES – The ringleader of a childcare scheme that collected more than $1.3 million in fraudulent government payments has been sentenced to 10 years in state prison and ordered to make full restitution to the agencies, the District Attorney’s office announced today.

Sakina Myles, aka Sakina Johnson, was sentenced Monday by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Pounders after she pleaded no contest in June to 12 counts of grand theft and 27 counts of perjury by declaration in two separate cases, said Deputy District Attorney Tamia Hope with the Public Assistance Fraud Division.

Judge Pounders, who said he "was shocked by the monstrous greed" demonstrated by the 42-year-old Corona woman, ordered her to pay more than $1.3 million in restitution to DPSS, Crystal Stairs, Drew Child Development Corporation and the Center for Community and Family Services.

Myles led a ring of 19 people who falsely supplied employment records and billed state and federal agencies for childcare services never rendered. The complex child care fraud scheme operated for almost 6 1/2 years, from June 2000 through October 2006.

Myles, a former Los Angeles resident, was arrested in 2007 by investigators with the D.A.’s Bureau of Investigation.

Myles claimed to operate the Johnson Family Daycare center at 438 E. 140th St. in Los Angeles, even though records showed she stopped providing childcare at that location in April 2002, authorities said. However, she continued receiving government funding even though she no longer provided childcare services. As part of the scheme, she also provided phony employment records so 14 parents could qualify for childcare payments from the government’s welfare-to-work program.

http://da.co.la.ca.us/

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