BANNING:(VVNG.com)- A couple who contracted with the Los Angeles County to operate a series of foster homes has been arrested and charged with embezzling more than $460,000 since 2008, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Announced today.
CSJ Kidogo, executive director of Little People’s World, Inc., and his wife Hitaji Kidogo, LPW’s assistant executive director were arrested today at their Banning home by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. A felony warrant filed Tuesday charges them with 22 counts of misappropriation of public funds and embezzlement.
“I am pleased to announce that Little People’s World Group Homes will be closing soon because of the arrest today,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. “Money intended to care for children in foster homes instead lined the pockets of executives who ran the programs. We take these crimes very seriously”.
Deputy District Attorney Kennes Ma with the Public Integrity Division is prosecuting the case. Little People World (LPW) operates four group homes that provide foster care to 28 children in the county. Between 2008 and 2013, prosecutors said the couple embezzled more than $466,000.
An audit by the county’s Auditor Controller discovered that CSJ Kidogo borrowed money earmarked for foster care to purchase real estate for himself and pay mortgages on properties not used for LPW’s foster care program. Prosecutors also allege the couple used public funds for personal financial gain. CSJ Kidogo, 73 and Hitajo Kidogo, 63 are scheduled to be arraigned in case BA429310 on Monday at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.
Prosecutors will ask that the bail be set for $550,000 each. If convicted, each defendant faces up to 14 years in state prison.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.