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      Local woman found guilty of fraud in daycare scam

      Nekosha T. James-Mitchell

      Ohio's Attorney General released a statement on Tuesday saying that a Lima woman has been found guilty of 13 felony counts involving operations at two state-funded daycare.

      An Allen County jury found Nekosha T. James-Mitchell, of Lima, guilty of fraudulently billing the state for daycare work.

      In all James-Mitchell took in approximately $26,948 in June and July of 2011 in her scam.

      A jury also found her was guilty of taking $4,054 from the Aurora Gonzales Community Center in Toledo.

      James-Mitchell claimed that the money helped feed 17 kids at the daycare operations, but did not.

      Officials say there were never any kids at the Lima daycare centers James-Mitchell operated.

      Those daycare centers include "All Together We Grow" at 431 South Prospect Street and "Kosha's Kinder Kare" at 1137 Simons Street.

      Authorities say James-Mitchell worked with four mothers and billed the system for the daycare services so she and the mothers could profit.

      Those four mothers have also been indicted.

      "Sadly, our investigators believe this is not just a problem in Lima, Ohio," Attorney General DeWine said. "Scammers are taking money from a system that is designed to help struggling working parents provide daycare for their children. I hope, one investigation and one prosecution at a time, we can send a strong message that this will not be tolerated."

      James-Mitchell was found guilty of the following crimes

    • 1 count engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity with a specification (felony of the 1st degree).
    • 4 counts of tampering with records (felony of the 3rd degree).
    • 4 counts of forgery (felony of the 5th degree).
    • 1 count of grand theft (felony of the 4th degree).
    • 1 count of theft (felony of the 5th degree).
    • 1 count of failure to pay 2008 state taxes (felony of the 5th degree).
    • 1 count of failure to pay state employee withholding taxes (felony of the 5th degree).