From feeding fraud to federal prison
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -
Guilty on all counts. That is what a pair of defendants heard in federal court today.
The two were on trial for stealing millions of dollars from a summer feeding program.
We have a look at what the future now holds for these convicted thieves.
Both Jacqueline Mills and Anthony Waits rolled the dice and took their federal charges to trial.
Both came up snake eyes.
"I am innocent,” Mills proclaimed outside court following the verdict. “I fed children. I had a good program. I have little faith in the justice system. Walking into this I had little faith in the justice system."
Defiant...possibly to a fault...Jacqueline Mills now faces up to 20 years in a federal prison.
Co-defendant Anthony Waits, who is already in custody, faces the same.
"This is government money that is supposed to go to kids and feed them after school and during summers,” says Acting U.S. Attorney Patrick C. Harris. “And it's just outrageous that people take advantage of that and just steal the money that is supposed to go to the kids."
A lot of money.
Over $12 million dollars resulting in 11 guilty pleas and now two guilty verdicts.
The government seized two pieces of property, four vehicles and seven bank accounts containing about a half-a-million dollars...all owned by Mills.
All from a self-described life-long educator.
“Most educators don't have that kind of money saved."
"No...most educators do not have that kind of money saved,” agrees Mills. “But when you have been a...since the age of 21 being a school teacher...and from the age of 23 being an administrator...you do acquire quite a bit."
Mills said the money in her accounts was not from the feeding program. She said she did not misrepresent the number of children she fed. But the evidence...and the jury...said otherwise.
Both Mills and Waits will learn the length of their prison sentences at a future hearing.
Air date: March 6th, 2017