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With Her Manslaughter Case Pending, Phila. Woman Sentenced in Daycare Fraud

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Philadelphia woman awaiting trial in connection with the swimming pool death of a seven-year-old boy today was sentenced to just over five years in prison for fraud in her operation of an illegal daycare.

The daycare operation was a sham from the beginning, according to prosecutor Joan Burnes.

Burnes says defendant Tianna Edwards, 32, who operated "Tianna's Terrific Tots" at two locations, had nine previous offenses for fraud, theft, and forgery, and was legally prohibited from operating a daycare.

But, according to investigators, Edwards used another person's identity to establish the operation and then misused a significant portion of the $1.4 million intended for the care of children in low-income families.

"From January of 2011 through January 2013, she spent over 490 hours at Sugarhouse Casino, gambling over 1.5 million dollars, with a net loss of over 206 thousand dollars," Burnes says.

One of Edwards' two centers was closed by the state in 2012 as a potential danger to the life and health of children in care.  Months later, a seven-year-old boy died in a swimming pool he was visiting with a group from the other daycare.

Edwards is awaiting trial on charges of manslaughter in that case.


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