A woman was convicted of stealing over $162,000 in government funds intended to provide summer meals for children in “economically disadvantaged areas,” according to Shelby County officials.
Jeannette Jives-Nealy, 50, had been on probation for a similar scheme she was convicted for in 2007.
According to District Attorney Amy Weirich, Jives-Nealy misappropriated the money between June and July of 2014 while doing business as "Kingdom Dominion Worldwide Ministries, Inc."
Jives-Nealy was taken into custody and faces a minimum of eight years, either in prison or on probation.
Jives-Nealy applied for and received the funds through the Summer Food Service Program for Children, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program administered by the Tennessee Department of Human Services.
According to a release, she was awarded $122,000 based on projections that she would serve 33,800 meals to children each month that summer, but was given an additional $40,000 after claiming to have served more than 40,500 in June of 2014.
However, investigators said there was no credible documentation that Jives-Nealy served any meals to children.
When auditors met with Jives-Nealy to review her accounting records, she claimed the records were “destroyed by flooding stemming from a plumbing issue.”
Auditors found no evidence of water damage or the records.
Bank records showed that Jives-Nealy did not use grant funds to purchase food for children, but instead indicated large cash withdrawals and frequent debit card purchases for retail items and travel.
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