Memphis woman convicted of stealing more than $150k from program that feeds children in need

Memphis woman convicted of stealing more than $150k from program that feeds children in need

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."

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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.

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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.

She had listed her son as the representative for the feeding program.