MANHATTAN (CN) – Two top executives in New York City’s Children’s Services agency, and two private contractors, face federal charges of conspiring to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars intended for needy children. Lethem Duncan, deputy director of the Payment Services Department in the Administration for Children’s Services, was charged in a felony information in Federal Court.
Also arrested Wednesday were Nigel Osarenkhoe, the ACS Supervisor of Adoptions, in the Payment Services Department; Stay Thompson aka Stay Daniels, fiscal director at Concord Family Services; and Philbert Gorrick, an independent contractor with Concord. Concord has received more than $28 million from ACS since 2005. Gorrick provided services to Concord through a company he controls, Contemporary Technologies Co.
Osarenkhoe abused his position to authorize adoption subsidy payments to co-conspirators who did not adopt any children, prosecutors say. “Osarenkhoe told Duncan that all he needed was a name in order to make unauthorized payments,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Duncan provided Thompson’s name, and from the fall of 2004 through 2007, Osarenkhoe fraudulently caused approximately $79,000 in adoption subsidy payments to be mailed to Thompson, who shared them with Osarenkhoe and Duncan.”
Osarenkhoe sent more money to Thompson in June this year, and was arrested Wednesday after he received a kickback from it at the ACS office, prosecutors say.
Duncan, Gorrick and Thompson also shared a $375,000 ACS check for computer services that were never provided in 2005, and a check for $711,420.25 in April this year, also for bogus computer supplies and services, prosecutors said.
“Gorrick and Thompson were arrested (Tuesday) night after they received an ACS check for the $711,420.25 from Duncan,” prosecutors said.
The cases were filed and unsealed the day after a woman was sentenced to 11 years in prison for defrauding New York City and State of $1.7 million for 11 disabled foster children she abused for more than a decade. Judith Leekin kept most of the kids in her basement or in a shed, tied them up and did not let them go outside or go to school, for more than a decade.