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Child care fraud investigation leads to...

Child care fraud investigation leads to arrest in Leflore County

By: Anne Summerhays - July 21, 2022

A Leflore County, Mississippi resident has been arrested for child care fraud following an investigation conducted by the Investigations Division of MDHS.

Following an investigation conducted by the Investigations Division of the Mississippi Department of Human Service (MDHS), a Leflore County, Mississippi resident has been arrested for child care fraud.

Investigators found that Towanda Ware, the owner/operator of Bright Beginnings Daycare and Bright Beginnings Daycare II, received monies from January 2017 to December 2019 through the childcare voucher program in the amount of $441,776.37 for children that did not attend the center.

MDHS said that due to the substantial amount of overpayment and the evidence of alleged fraud found during the investigation, the case was turned over to the Leflore County District Attorney’s Office. The case was presented to the Grand Jury for criminal prosecution.

The Leflore County District Attorney secured an indictment on June 20, 2022, and Ware turned herself in to MDHS-OIG and Leflore County officials through her attorney on July 14, 2022.

“As with any criminal case, an indictment is no evidence of guilt and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial or by entry of guilty plea,” MDHS said.

The case was investigated by Agent Jonathan Rider of the MDHS Investigations Division.

MDHS Executive Director Robert G. “Bob” Anderson said that this is a great example of cooperation between our investigations team and local law enforcement.

“This investigation and ultimate prosecution demonstrates the controls we have in place to identify, investigate, and eliminate fraud in our programs,” Anderson said.

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: