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Probation officer charged with running sham child care centers

City News Service | 8/2/2013, 2:15 p.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A Los Angeles County probation officer charged with conspiracy, grand theft and perjury in an alleged $1.6 million child care fraud scheme appeared in court today, but his arraignment was postponed.

Prosecutors say Frank Elliott Boyd III, 48, masterminded the scam in which six people, including Boyd’s ex-girlfriend, are charged.

The group allegedly set up home-based licensed child care centers and recruited parents to apply for subsidies through the state Department of Education and county Department of Public Social Services using the name Crystal Stairs, Inc., but child care services were never provided, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

In return for falsifying applications, employment verification forms and child care attendance documents, the parents allegedly received kickbacks from the defendants.

Boyd, a Redondo Beach resident, is being held in lieu of $420,000 bail and is now scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

If convicted, he faces more than 20 years in state prison.

Co-defendants Nikita Monique Harrell, 37, of Hawthorne, and Kevin Twain Williams, 49, of Inglewood, are also set for arraignment Monday.

Boyd’s 44-year-old ex-girlfriend and some of the other co-defendants have not yet been arrested, but warrants have been issued, District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.