A trio of alleged scammers have pleaded guilty to using millions of dollars in state grants meant to feed Pennsylvania children to buy luxury cars and fancy clothes, federal authorities announced Thursday.
Charles Simpson, 44, Tanisha Jackson, 49 and her daughter, Paige Jackson, 30, admitted creating a bogus nonprofit organization named "Helping Others in Need" that received federal funds allegedly meant to provide meals to children in need after school and during summer.
According to federal authorities, instead of distributing meals to Pennsylvania kids, the trio used the funds to buy an entire fleet of fancy cars which included a Bentley, two Land Rovers, two Maseratis, two Mercedes, a Hummer and a Porsche, along with clothes and vacation packages.
Investigators also said Simpson and Tanisha Jackson used fake names because they had been previously excluded from feeding programs in other states, the US Attorney said. Paige Jackson also admitted to using an alias when dealing with state education officials.
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In total, investigators say the trio stole around $4 million dollars from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture between 2015 and 2019.
After pleading guilty, Simpson and Tanisha Jackson agreed to pay the federal government $1.5 million in restitution. Paige Jackson agreed to pay about $190,000.
All will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab, although no dates were set.