Last updated: August 24. 2013 5:28AM - 280 Views

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LIMA — The attorney representing a woman accused of day care fraud said Thursday she is innocent and a good woman. Attorney John Scaccia, of Springboro, also accused state agents and officials at the Allen County Department of Job and Family Services of only wanting to make a case against his client, Nekosha James-Mitchell, instead of searching for the truth.“The evidence will show she didn't defraud anybody of anything,” Scaccia said. “The evidence will show the charges are overblown.”James-Mitchell faces charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, three counts of tampering with records, three counts of forgery, grand theft, theft, failure to file state income tax returns and failure to remit state income taxes withheld from employees. The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 38.5 years. Four of her employees also have been charged with felonies.Authorities at the local Job and Family Services agency said James-Mitchell was defrauding taxpayers of more than $170,000 a year by claiming 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 can take up to 12 children.Authorities said they conducted surveillance on the day care centers and did not observe children arriving or leaving, or even there during times listed on bills.Scaccia said that does not mean James-Mitchell was not watching them. He said she often took the children to the park or had their parents bring them to the park where they would be watched.“They may not be at the center a lot of the time,” he said.Scaccia also took issue with accusations James-Mitchell has been participating in day care fraud since 2004. In reference to the tax charges, Scaccia said James-Mitchell was behind on paying taxes but had set up a payment plan to catch up and was making payments.“These were just oversight issues that were being rectified,” he said. Scaccia said James-Mitchell has no criminal record and is a good person. James-Mitchell still is trying to operate both centers but is struggling since the state has cut off reimbursement for low-income parents. Scaccia said the government is trying to shut off her funds to prevent her from paying for her defense.Scaccia also represents 35-year-old Brenda Brown, who also is charged.You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.

Attorney: Woman accused of day care fraud is innocent

Attorney: Woman accused of day care fraud is innocent

Attorney: Woman accused of day care fraud is innocent

Operator of fraudulent day cares gets four years in prison
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