January 19, 2012
LIMA — A third woman charged in an day care fraud case pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges against her.Qwantilla Bagley, 31, pleaded not guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, tampering with records, complicity to forgery and two counts of complicity to theft. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 17 years in prison. She was released on bail and ordered to not have any contact with the co-defendants in the case.Bagley is one of five women charged in the case.State agents raided the home day care operations of Nekosha James-Mitchell and accused her of defrauding taxpayers of more than $170,000 a year by saying she was providing day care services for low-income parents. They accused her of forging records and getting people to lie about watching their children.James-Mitchell operates two home-based day care centers, All Together We Grow at 431 S. Prospect St. and Kosha's Kinder Kare at 1137 Simon St. Each place manages up to 12 children. Authorities said they conducted surveillance on the centers and saw no children coming or going despite records that said the children were there.James-Mitchell's attorney, John Scaccia, of Springboro, said she is innocent and parents sometimes brought their children to the park where day care services were rendered.Also in the case, Judge Jeffrey Reed ruled Scaccia cannot represent more than one defendant. Co-defendant Brenda Brown, 35, told the judge she understood there was a conflict of interest but she was willing to still have Scaccia represent her.Reed said he saw no way around the conflict of interest especially if a plea deal is offered that involves one person testifying against the other. Reed told Brown she could obtain her own attorney or asked for a court-appointed attorney, if she has no money. She had privately retained Scaccia. You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.