Shawntel Priggion, 54, a former worker with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), has been indicted on federal charges along with 14 others. He has been accused of stealing $3.2 million in child care funds allocated to the foster care system over a six-year period.

According to CBS NewsPrijian was first arrested in May and charged with receiving $1.6 million in illegal payments from 14 different childcare providers between 2016 and 2022, It has been alleged that the money either came from higher rates or from daycares that did not exist. In addition, it has been claimed that Prison used the money at a casino.

Prision’s position within DCFS was to review and approve daycare providers under the agency’s jurisdiction.

AAccording to the US Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois:

The 41-count indictment was unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, alleging that Shontelle Y. Prizione executed the fraud scheme from 2016 to 2022 while working as a community social services planner for DCFS in Chicago. The indictment states that Prison fraudulently entered the information of several of his co-defendants into the DCFS computer system and approved them for payment as foster care providers. The indictment states that Prison directed at least $3.2 million in Illinois state funds to co-defendants and others, each of whom agreed to receive the money even though they knew no Also the foster child was not actually in their care. The indictment states that the co-defendants and others paid Prison a total of approximately $1.6 million in bribes. Prison allegedly used the bribe money to pay for personal expenses, including gambling losses at a casino in Hammond, India.

The indictment accuses each of Prison’s co-defendants of accepting various amounts of state money for non-existent child care services. For example, Latasha Thomas received more than $1.6 million and Tracy Gervier more than $695,000, the indictment states. The indictment states that Ronnie Webb received more than $228,000, which was paid through checks made out to “Webb Feet Child Care Inc.”, a shell company that gave its address as Webb’s residence. was listed.

CBS News reports:

On Wednesday, a 41-count indictment was unsealed, accusing Prison of arranging at least $3.2 million in DCFS funds to pay 14 people after he hired them as foster children. were approved as providers, even though none of them actually had children in their care.

In return, federal prosecutors said, his co-defendants paid Priggion approximately $1.6 million in bribes and kickbacks, which he used for personal expenses, including gambling at a casino in Hammond, Indiana.

According to the allegations:

  • Co-defendant Latasha Thomas, 48, received over $1.6 million in fraudulent payments;
  • Co-defendant Tracy Gervier, 60, received more than $695,000;
  • Co-defendant Tahandria Harper, 50, received approximately $500,000;
  • Co-defendant Joe Sanderson, 49, received more than $280,000;
  • Co-defendant Kelly Payne, 49, received more than $400,000;
  • Co-defendant Ronnie Webb, 57, received more than $228,000;
  • Co-defendant Nikki Giovanni Houston, 53, received more than $495,000;
  • Co-defendant Shenita McGarry, 37, received approximately $449,000;
  • Co-defendant Sherry Benes, 45, received more than $263,000;
  • Co-defendant Keecha Lacy, 50, received more than $203,000;
  • Co-defendant Christina Davis, 54, receives more than $128,000;
  • Co-defendant Marissa Terry, 36, received more than $155,000;
  • Co-defendant Aramis Collier, 39, received more than $75,000;
  • and co-defendant, Oncherry Nelson, 44, received more than $65,000

The full complaint can be viewed here.

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