TN Human Services close 10 raided day cares - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

TN Human Services close 10 raided day cares

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

FOX13 News has learned the Tennessee Department of Human Services has closed 10 of the day care centers that were raided Thursday by federal agents and Memphis Police Organized Crime Unit detectives.

A spokeswoman for the department would only confirm the day care centers have been shut down. She would not give any details on why the centers were closed.

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Upon inspection Friday the lights were off and the doors were locked at the Kare Enrichment Center on Winchester and there was no sign of anyone inside. Three Kare Enrichment Centers in Memphis were raided.

As well there were no children at the Augustus Learning Journey day care on South Third Street. One of the phone numbers for the center was disconnected. The day care busses were parked in the driveway.

DHS staff members accompanied police detectives and the federal agents on the raids as the morning raids were conducted Thursday.

Law enforcement sources say this is all part of a massive fraud investigation and they're looking at misuse of federal money meant for low income nutrition programs.

DHS won't say why the day cares have been closed.

The Save More supermarket on South Third Street was back open for business.

In the wake of Thursday's coordinated raids of several Mid-South day cares and businesses, federal agents are starting the process of digging through the boxes of evidence they recovered from the businesses.

Law enforcement sources say this is a fraud investigation. Specifically they're looking into the misuse of federal money for nutrition assistance programs, things like lunch programs in the day care centers.

Kimberly Chism, who was arrested during Thursday's operation, made her first appearance Friday in Shelby County General Sessions Court. She was charged with disorderly conduct during a raid on a house on Holmes Road. The court rescheduled her appearance until Jan. 15, 2014.

Neither Chism nor her attorney commented as they left the courtroom Friday morning. Members of her family are linked to the businesses and day care centers.
 
There have been no arrests or charges filed in relation to these searches. The federal warrants are under seal, which means the information isn't open to the public. Sources say it could be months before anything is formally announced in this case.
 
But the U.S. Attorneys Office in Downtown Memphis has confirmed in a statement that this coordinated raid is an ongoing investigation.

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