Daycare manager spent money from state on WrestleMania, Packers’ tickets

Reaches plea agreement in embezzlement scheme

A former manager and non-majority owner of Learning Through Technology Childcare Academy on Milwaukee’s northwest side embezzled money the business received from the state to cover $120,000 in personal expenses, according to a plea agreement filed this week.

The documents, filed in Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin, say Omar Jackson used more than $17,000 of the money to pay for tickets to WrestleMania, NBA games and Packers’ playoff games in Dallas and Atlanta.

He also used the money to pay for out-of-state golf trips, family vacations to Florida and the Wisconsin Dells, retail purchases, rent and car payments.

According to the plea agreement, Jackson had a dispute with the majority owner of LTTCA over undisclosed compensation in 2014. At the time, he signed an agreement saying he would not give himself additional bonuses, would provide the owner access to all financial records and would not make expenditures of more than $1,500 without the owner’s approval.

In June 2016, Jackson opened a Wells Fargo bank account in LTTCA’s name without the majority owner’s knowledge. The plea agreement says he claimed to be 100 percent owner of the facility and used his home address as a mailing address.

In October 2016, he submitted forms to the state asking for federal grant money from the Wisconsin Shares Childcare Subsidy and Child and Adult Care Food Program to be deposited into the Wells Fargo account instead of LTTCA’s US Bank account.

More than $547,000 from the two programs was deposited into Jackson’s account from October 2016 to May 2017, according to the plea agreement.

Beyond the $120,000 that went to personal use, the plea agreement says Jackson withdrew more than $28,000 in cash from the Wells Fargo account.

Investigators ultimately seized $275,000 from Jackson when he initiated the transfer of the money from LTTCA’s account to the Wells Fargo account in early May 2017. He initially denied using the money for trips or personal expenses but later admitted to the scheme, the agreement says.

The document adds that Jackson deposited $40,000 in cash and money orders made out to LTTCA from parents and guardians into a separate personal checking account he controlled.

Jackson faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Prosecutors agreed to recommend no more than one year and one day in prison. Any restitution requirements will be left up to the court.

A date has not been set for Jackson to enter his guilty plea.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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