Man sentenced to prison for stealing from feeding program

Man sentenced to prison for stealing from feeding program

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - A Little Rock man was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered to pay over $180,000 in restitution for his role in a plan to steal money intended for feeding children in low-income areas.

U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer announced Wednesday that Reuben Nims, 52, of Little Rock appeared before District Judge James M. Moody Jr. during a hearing at the Little Rock federal building.

Moody sentenced Nims, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud on March 8. to the prison term followed by three years of supervised release.

Thyer said in a media release that Nims is the second defendant sentenced who was charged with involvement to fraudulently obtain United States Department of Agriculture program funds intended to feed children in need.

Kattie Jordan was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison on March 15, 2016.

Gladys Waits, Tonique Hatton, Christopher Nichols, Waymon Weeams, James Franklin, Francine Leon, Maria Nelson, Alexis Young, and Erica Warren have all pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud USDA feeding programs and are awaiting sentencing.

Jacqueline Mills, Dortha Harper, and Anthony Waits are scheduled for trial on March 27, 2017, before Judge Moody.

The USDA feeding programs in Arkansas are administered through the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Thyer said.

Sponsors who want to participate in the feeding programs must submit an application to DHS for approval. After they are approved, they can provide meals as part of the feeding programs, and they are reimbursed for the eligible meals they serve.

Nims was a sponsor for a feeding program through his organization called "Blessed Thru Success."

Nims had one approved feeding site on Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock, where he claimed as many as 300 children were fed each day. No children were ever actually fed there.

Nims was recruited by Anthony Waits. Waits' wife, Gladys Waits, worked for DHS and approved Nims' application.

Nims paid Anthony Waits approximately 50% of the $182,728.65 Nims received in the scheme, Thyer said in the news release.

The investigation is ongoing.

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