February 6, 2012
LIMA — One woman charged in a day care fraud scheme pleaded guilty Monday to the charges while another entered not guilty pleas.Magnolia S. Clay, 28, pleaded guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second-degree felony; tampering with records, a fifth-degree felony, and complicity to theft, a misdemeanor. The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 13 years.Clay is scheduled to be sentenced March 12.Meanwhile, Desmeen L. Spence-Williams, 28, pleaded not guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, tampering with records, complicity to forgery, and complicity to theft. Five women have been charged in a day care fraud scheme authorities said cost taxpayers more than $170,000 a year. State agents raided the home day care operations of Nekosha James-Mitchell, who they say is the principal player in the fraud. They said she committed fraud while providing day care services to low-income parents. They also accused James-Mitchell of including the other four women in the fraud that included forging records and getting people to lie about watching children.James-Mitchell operates two home-based day care centers, All Together We Grow at 431 S. Prospect St. and Kosha's Kinder Care 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 children were there.James-Mitchell's attorney, John Scaccia, of Springboro, said she is innocent and sometimes parents brought their children to parks where day care services were rendered.