A woman exposed by a 10TV, Watchdog10 investigation has admitted to three felonies involving more than $13,000 in tax dollars.
Jazmin Rodriguez-Demota told Franklin County Judge David Fais that she was guilty of one count of felony theft and two counts of felony forgery.
Rodriguez-Demota was a daycare provider who received state subsidized payments through the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. In the year before the investigation, the station found she had taken nearly a $100,000 in tax funds.
The Franklin County Sheriff's Office investigated Rodriguez-Demota after the Watchdog 10 investigation revealed only one child appeared over a two week period in the fall of 2011 that she operated out of her west Columbus home.
The Watchdog 10 investigation revealed that Rodriguez-Demota charged the state several thousand dollars in bogus childcare charges during the same time.
In court, assistant Franklin County prosecutor Kimberly Bond told the judge, "the complaint followed information developed by a WBNS, 10TV investigation." Bond said Franklin County detectives also found two parents of children willing to testify that their children were not at
Rodriguez-Demota's daycare on the dates she charged them.
Bond said that Rodriguez-Demota had forged their signatures.
In court, Bond told the judge Rodriguez-Demota's bogus billing involved at least "10 kids from four different families."
Watchdog 10 investigated Rodriguez-Demota after a computer analysis of state daycare providers revealed an anomaly in the woman's billing patterns.
Today, her attorneys had no comment for reporters.
Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said that he would ask for a harsher sentence than probation, which Ohio law requires unless prosecutors prove "aggravating circumstances" show a defendant deserves a stiffer sentence.
"Our position on these things is you've got a position of trust, where the person is a government contractor and is really stealing from taxpayers," O'Brien said. "That's a fact that should override the presumption of probation."
Rodriguez-Demota is scheduled to be sentenced on May 31.
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