Former Daycare Director Sentenced for Submitting False Documents to Tennessee Department of Human Services

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Memphis, TN – Ollie Stephenson, 55, of Germantown, Tennessee, has been sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for submitting false documents to the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS).

According to information presented in court, Louise’s Learning Tree Daycare Center in Memphis, Tennessee was a participant in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP), which was administered by TDHS. Stephenson, the daycare’s former director, submitted a fictious Regions Bank statement and a fictitious US Food invoice which reflected a non-existent food purchase during a TDHS audit conducted in April and May 2020.

On April 14, 2021, Stephenson pled guilty to a one-count criminal information.

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On July 15, 2021, U.S. District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman sentenced Stephenson to a year and a day in federal prison and a three-year period of supervised release. Stephenson was also ordered to pay $375,158.80 in restitution to TDHS. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Today’s sentence serves not only as just punishment for this defendant but also as notice to others who seek to prey on feeding assistance programs used to feed vulnerable populations,” said Jason M. Williams, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General. “This collaborative effort with our state and federal partners demonstrates that wherever you are, we will find you and hold you accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

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“This fraud is coming to light thanks to the vigilance and hard work of multiple public entities who recognized something was wrong and began looking into it,” said TDHS Commissioner Clarence H. Carter. “Tennesseans expect their tax dollars to be used to help the people that need them, not individuals seeking to take advantage of the system for their own gain.”

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General and the Special Investigations Unit of the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carroll L. André III prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

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