The Nashville-based Rehoboth Outreach Ministries spent more than $103,000 on unallowable costs under a Tennessee Department of Human Services program meant to help needy children, according to a new audit from state Comptrollers.
Rehoboth participated in both the Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
“Investigators determined Rehoboth’s executive director knowingly submitted questionable claims for reimbursement. These false claims included thousands of meals that were never served. Investigators determined that Rehoboth received at least $10,906 in excess reimbursements from DHS for these meals,” according to a Comptrollers’ press release.
“Rehoboth’s executive director also created and submitted to DHS false lease documents indicating Rehoboth’s office rental was $4,000 per month, when in fact the rent was only $750. The executive director told investigators he did this to increase the total program budget in order to create a cushion to pay unexpected expenses.”
During the time Rehoboth participated in the programs, DHS officials reviewed and routinely questioned whether some of Rehoboth’s claimed expenses were allowable under the contract, according to the audit.
“DHS auditors identified more than $103,000 of Rehoboth’s expenses as unallowable costs and directed Rehoboth to reimburse this amount to the program account,” according to a Comptrollers’ press release. “Rehoboth did not make this reimbursement, and in February 2018, Rehoboth voluntarily withdrew from the food programs. Because Rehoboth did not participate in subsequent food programs, DHS did not pursue collection of these funds.”
DHS officials approved Rehoboth to provide summer food program meals at 25 locations, including schools, community centers, and apartment complexes in various Middle Tennessee counties, according to the press release.
According to the audit, Comptrollers sent the results of this investigation to district attorneys general in the 20th, 14th and 12th judicial districts.
“DHS disqualified Rehoboth and the executive director from future participation in DHS food programs as of July 31, 2018,” the audit says.
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