PROSECUTOR: Owner of Heavenly Angels Daycare stole $306,000 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

PROSECUTOR: Owner of Heavenly Angels Daycare stole $306,000

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville daycare owner charged with theft and fraud will go to trial in March. Lavonia Lewars was indicted this month for fraud and theft by deception exceeding $10,000.

The investigation's findings into the Heavenly Angels Daycare found that the daycare was also over-billing a government child-care subsidy program. "The investigation revealed she stole over $300,000 in the calendar year 2011," said prosecutor John Balenovich. Prosecutors don't know yet whether she'll be offered a plea deal.

WDRB looked at nearly 1500 pages of new information in the case. The Cabinet for Health and Family services released its investigative report where parents and daycare employees were interviewed.

The state says Lewars repeatedly billed for children who didn't attend. An office manager says for three months, children were being billed for the Crums Lane location before it was actually running. One employee says she had kids on contract, but never attended the daycare, and says she was fired because she was on home incarceration.

Another mother says she was paid $200 three times to falsely claim her children went to Heavenly Angels.

Court documents allege Lewars stole more than $306,000 from May to December of last year from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Child Care Assistance Program. Those documents say Lewars received those funds, but wasn't entitled to them.

An employee also says Lewars would buy food stamps from people so she could buy daycare food and would ask people to pay her in food stamps for transportation services.

Her daycare was also involved in a deadly van crash and has since been shut down. Prosecutors say her fraud and theft investigation was underway before the crash. If convicted, she could face between five and 10 years in prison for each charge.

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