Four former day care owners accused of defrauding state - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Four former day care owners accused of defrauding state

Posted: Updated:
Katrina Clyburn Katrina Clyburn
Tyaundra King-Thompson Tyaundra King-Thompson
Latanya Williams-Crawford Latanya Williams-Crawford
Larithia Walker Larithia Walker

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Four women accused of defrauding the state pleaded not guilty to misusing state money intended to assist Kentucky's low income working families.

Katrina Clyburn, Larithia Walker, Tyaundra King-Thompson and Latanya Williams-Crawford were arraigned in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

Clyburn, the former owner of Trina's Treehouse, is accused of billing Kentucky's Child Care Assistance Program, or C-CAP, for almost $400,000 in two years for children she never served.

Prosecutors allege she forged parent signatures, falsified attendance and filed $100,000 in phony claims for food stamps and Medicaid.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Four former day care owners accused of fraud]

Regulators closed Trina's Treehouse on Cane Run Road in November 2013 after claims of abuse. They had closed Trina's on Broadway in 2011, following the death of a toddler who swallowed a push pin.

As a result of a two-year state investigation three other day care operators face similar charges.

Walker is accused of $1.2 million in C-CAP fraud and $26,000 in Medicaid Fraud for Caterpilllar Clubhouse and El Shaddai Christian Child Care.

King-Thompson is facing charges of more than $600,000 tax dollars in C-CAP fraud and $60,000 in welfare fraud at two centers known as Community Child Care.

Williams-Crawford is also accused of C-CAP fraud, more than $670,000, for billings at Payton's Playland.

Prosecutors said they dropped charges of Medicaid fraud against Williams-Crawford after she repaid more than $3,500.

In an email, Inspector General Maryellen Mynear told WAVE 3 News Kentucky will investigate and prosecute vigorously because benefit fraud is "a serious crime that steals precious, limited resources from deserving individuals who are legitimately in need and erodes confidence in government programs."

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.