U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer
has announced a new indictment in the investigation of fraud in the state operation of federally financed feeding programs for children.
, 37, and Dorothy Harper
, 50, both of England, have been indicted for conspiring to defraud USDA money.
Harper sponsored a feeding program for children, Kingdom Land Youth Outreach Ministries, that claimed feeding sites in England, Keo, Allport, Tucker, Toltec, Coy And Altheimer. Harper, who received money from the Department of Human Services for the program, made cash payments to Waits, whose wife worked at DHS, according to a news release from Thyer's office. Wait's wife approved Harper's applications for participation, "knowing that inflated claims would be submitted and helping Harper avoid DHS detection."
The indictment says Harper misrepresented attendance and meals in a fraud that exceeded $1.3 million.
The indictment alleges that Waits recruited others who submitted false claims and he got a percentage back in exchange for his wife's approval of claims.
Waits and Harper join three others already named: Waits' wife, Gladys King; Tonique Hall, a DHS employee who approved claims, and Jacqueline Mills, a feeding program sponsor. Also named in the indictment is co-conspirator Kattie Jordan, a program sponsor who has already pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud.
The news release said Jordan stole $3.6 million and that Mills may have taken $2.5 million.
The conspiracy charge can carry a 20-year term.