Ex-Hopewell employee sentenced to 2 years for defrauding city of nearly $500K

RICHMOND, Va. — A former Hopewell City employee has been sentenced to two years in prison for defrauding the city out of nearly $500,000 over a span of five years.

Jamillah Karriem, 45, of Richmond, worked as a Comprehensive Services Act (CSA) Coordinator for Hopewell. The Commonwealth of Virginia utilizes the CSA to provide state funding for services to high-risk children across the state, and provides those state funds to localities, such as Hopewell.

Karriem was responsible for directing CSA-funded contracts to service providers for at-risk school children in Hopewell.

Instead of using funds to help at-risk children, court documents reveal that Karriem led a conspiracy to defraud the city beginning in October 2011 when she directed a friend to form a business, A World of Possibilities (“WOP”).

The Department of Justice says the business was created for the ostensible purpose of providing mentoring and counseling services to at-risk students at public schools in Hopewell.

As the CSA Coordinator, Karriem steered a CSA counseling services contract to WOP, and between November 2011 and June 2015, WOP billed the city for more than $480,000 worth of counseling services.

However, WOP did not actually provide any services to those students.

Karriem and her co-conspirator split the fraudulent proceeds, according to the DOJ.

Karriem is also accused of filing false tax returns and under-reporting her income from 2012 to 2015. During that time period, Karriem’s total criminal tax loss amounts to at least $133,602, according to the DOJ.

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