Jeannette Jives-Nealy, 50 who was convicted of a similar scheme in Florida in 2007, also was ordered to make restitution. Criminal Court Judge James Lammey Jr. sentenced her to two consecutive 12-year prison terms for her conviction in July of theft over $60,000 and money laundering.
The evidence showed that she misappropriated $162,165.89 between June and July of 2014 while doing business as Kingdom Dominion Worldwide Ministries, Inc. She applied for and received the funds through the Summer Food Service Program for Children, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program administered by the Tennessee Department of Human Services.
She was awarded $122,000 based on projections that she would serve 33,800 meals to children each month that summer, and was given an additional $40,000 after claiming to have served more than 40,500 in June of 2014.
According to the state Comptroller’s Office, bank records showed that Jives-Nealy did not use grant funds to purchase food for children, but instead made large cash withdrawals and frequent debit card purchases for retail items and travel. She had listed her son as the representative for the feeding program.
At the time, Jives-Nealy was on probation for a theft and racketeering conviction in Florida where she and her sister had fraudulently obtained and misused more than $200,000 in government funds intended for school vouchers, and school breakfasts and lunches, according to Florida officials. She was sentenced there to four years in prison and 10 years of probation.
The Memphis trial was handled by Asst. Dist. Atty. Byron Winsett, chief prosecutor of the DA’s Public Corruption and Economic Crime Unit.
The case was investigated by Special Audit Investigator Philip Job of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury and by Special Agent Charles Baker of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.