The director of a Hazlehurst daycare took advantage of a government program meant to subsidize the cost of daycare for qualified families, bilking the system of more than $75,000, according to the state auditor’s office.
Jan Coleman, now the former director of the Hazlehurst United Methodist Church Child Care & Preschool, was indicted on fraud and embezzlement, the auditor’s office announced in a press release Wednesday.
The Methodist daycare terminated Coleman in July 2018 and then self-reported the alleged fraud, the release said.
According to the release, Coleman made fake claims about the number of children enrolled at the daycare to get more than $75,000 in public funds from the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
The alleged fraud took place between 2014 and 2018, the release said, and Coleman could face up to 13 years in prison if convicted.
“Coleman defrauded the taxpayers for far too long and took advantage of money intended for the benefit of children,” Auditor Shad White said in the press release. “I am thankful for the cooperation of the various state agencies and the district attorney for our coordinated efforts in bringing her to justice.”