Tracey Parson, 44, was charged with two counts of conspiracy, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of mail fraud for $1.27 million.
Parsons attempted to defraud the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the United States Department of Agriculture, and, in a separate scheme, Clear Channel Communications, Inc. (“Clear Channel”).
All the schemes were conducted through Kiddie Kare Child Care and Education Center (“Kiddie Kare”), which she founded and ran.
She used her daycare center to defraud the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), run by the Department of Agriculture and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, according to the indictment.
The program provides reimbursements for meals and snacks served to eligible children at approved facilities.
However, from December of 2009-May of 2012, Parsons allegedly submitted $523,148.34 in claims based not on what was administered to children, but based on what she wished to receive, thus seeking reimbursements on claims for meals she knew were never served.
She also allegedly used the money on herself as opposed to food for the children, often resulting in food shortages at the facilities despite receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in reimbursements. She allegedly tampered with the daycare's records to cover up her actions, including inflating food service and providing fake names for children.
Parson also used Kiddie Kare to defraud Clear Channel in connection with a defamation lawsuit stemming from a radio broadcast.
Parson falsely alleged in the lawsuit that the defamation, in which the DJ claimed Kiddie Kare's revenue was down 30 percent, resulted in lost revenue at Kiddie Kare and the eventual closing of one location.
She directed individuals to write letters falsely claiming they had taken their children out of the facility, and produced false depictions of physical threats and vandalism.
If convicted, Parsons faces a maximum possible sentence of 90 years in prison, a fine of up to $1.5 million, five years of supervised release, and a $600 special assessment.