Jeanette Jives-Nealy looks like she’s not short of a dollar or two in the above picture. And she wasn’t, because she’d managed to con Tennessee’s Department of Human Services out of thousands of dollars, promising that the money would go to feed children from low income families.
But instead of feeding children, Jives-Nealy spent tens of thousands of dollars on retail items and travel and a shedload of bling, and transferred more than $25,000 into a savings account.
According to The Friendly Atheist, Jives-Nealy (aka “Pastor Prophetess”) has been indicted on theft charges, after an investigation revealed she misappropriated $162,165 in taxpayer monies intended for meals.
Jives-Nealy had pulled this scam before, in Florida. Her name is easy to find on the Internet, attached to a 2007 Florida indictment. She was subsequently convicted for
multiple counts of racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering, forgeries and theft after stealing $200,000 from a school food voucher programme for kids with disabilities.
The Friendly Atheist commented:
But running a 20-second Google search was too much of a burden for DHS, and so the self-styled prophetess took full advantage of the government agency’s ineptitude, cashing big checks to the tune of $162,000.
In 2011, after Nealy was released from prison, she and her son moved to Memphis to open Kingdom Dominion Worldwide, a Christian ministry. The pair then contracted with the Department of Human Services to receive cash advances to serve meals to children. On the KDW Facebook site, Jives-Nealy wrote last year:
He [God] wants your gifts and talents on display. Use them.
The DHS paid Jives-Nealy $122,000 in advance of June and July 2014 after she pledged to serve 33,800 children for each of those months. She received an additional $40,000 after claiming Kingdom Dominion had actually served more than 40,500 meals in July 2014. DHS paid the advances even though Jives-Nealy was serving a 10-year probation, in which she was banned from applying for any state or federal funding.
Kingdom Dominion is one of several instances in which out-of-state operators who had racked up a string of offences in other states were able to easily move to Tennessee and bilk taxpayers of hundreds of thousands of dollars intended to buy food for kids in poverty, a Tennessee investigation found in September.
It’s all but assured that Jives-Nealy will return to prison, but in fairness, one or more criminally negligent DHS bureaucrats who supplied her with easy money should end up in the cell next to hers, for a spell.
Meanwhile, it’s reported here that another embezzler – Jon S Petersen, 55, of Cedar Rapids Iowa – nicked almost half a million dollars in donations to his Christian charity, World Ambassadors, Ltd, and blew the money to fund his a sex addiction.
Petersen pleaded guilty this week to one count of filing a false tax return. He was released from custody pending a sentencing hearing, which hasn’t been scheduled.
He is the longtime president of World Ambassador, a non-profit outfit he founded with his wife in 1993 to provide a Christian outreach to international students on college campuses.
In his plea deal, Petersen admitted that he moved $475,000 in donations from the charity to his personal checking account between 2010 and 2014, draining virtually all of its funding.
The guilty plea concerned his personal 2013 tax filing, when he failed to report $114,000 diverted from the charity as taxable income. The charge carries up to three years in prison, and Petersen may be required to pay restitution to donors.
The IRS yanked the group’s tax-exempt status in 2010 after it repeatedly failed to file a required annual disclosure on its income and spending, records show. Nonetheless, it was still registered as a non-profit corporation and in good standing with the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.
Petersen didn’t immediately return a phone message Tuesday. His attorney was out of the office and didn’t immediately return an email message seeking comment.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn