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Ex-Milwaukee child care operator pleads guilty to fraud of state, fed programs


MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A former Milwaukee child care operator has agreed to plead guilty to federal fraud, theft, and conspiracy charges.

34-year-old Latasha Jackson entered into a plea agreement this week.

She ran two child care centers that defrauded state and federally-funded programs to care for children of the working poor.

Prosecutors say they’ll ask a judge to make Jackson pay $333,000 in restitution. She also faces up to 35 years in prison – but she’s expected to get much less than that under federal sentencing guidelines. A sentencing date has not been set.

Jackson’s case was profiled in a Journal Sentinel series that exposed numerous fraud in the Wisconsin Shares program. She received about $3 million in tax reimbursements from the state program, while the paper said regulators ignored red flags for a decade about her fraud.

In the meantime, Jackson had built a 7,600 square foot mansion with a Jaguar convertible. Both were destroyed in a fire in late 2009.

Investigators called it suspicious, but nobody was ever charged. Jackson has since moved to Texas.