SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A Burbank, Illinois woman was sentenced Sunday, March 2 for her role in a scheme to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.
Tarnavis Lee, 42, was indicted on Oct. 7, 2020 and pleaded guilty on Sept 7, 2021.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Central Illinois, Lee and co-conspirators Demetra Jackson and Elizabeth McFarland plotted to defraud the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Child Care Assistance Program, which funds childcare services for low-income parents while they work or get an education.
Between January 2009 and April 2019, Lee, both individually and in conjunction with her con-conspirators, submitted false claims to DHS for childcare services that were not provided or not to the extent claimed.
Lee also gave parents kickbacks totaling $158,000 for allowing her to use their personal information in order to submit phony claims.
All told, Lee defrauded the state of Illinois of $913,390.66.
A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Lee to three years’ imprisonment, followed by three years of probation, and ordered her to pay full restitution.
Her co-defendants, Jackson and McFarland, previously pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud each. They’re scheduled to be sentenced on April 7 and April 12, respectively.
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