James E. Franklin Jr., 34, of Marianna was sentenced Tuesday by Judge Price Marshall to two years in prison for his part in scheme to steal USDA money intended to feed poor children in a program administered by the state Human Services Department.
His prison term will be followed by two years of supervised release and he was ordered to pay restitution of more than $380,000.
He’s the fourth defendant to be charged with inflating the number, or not serving at all, meals to children in summer and after-school programs approved by DHS. DHS employees helped facilitate the scheme. Eight others await sentencing and trials are scheduled for a few others.
Franklin sponsored JL&N Outreach to serve children in Hughes and Brinkley. He served 10 to 15 children at each site, when more than 200 were supposedly fed. The U.S. attorney news release announcing the sentence said Franklin was recruited by Anthony Waits, whose wife, Gloria, worked for DHS and approved his application. Franklin kicked back 40 percent of payments to Waits.