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Last 2 Defendants Plead Guilty In Child Care Fraud

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RIVERSIDE (AP) — Riverside County prosecutors say the final two of seven defendants have pleaded guilty to their roles in a $500,000 swindle of a child care program for low-income families.

The district attorney’s office says Stephanie Luna Vega pleaded guilty Tuesday to all nine felonies with which she was charged, including grand theft. Her mother, Sylvia Avila, pleaded guilty to one count of grand theft.

All seven people, including two former Riverside County Office of Education employees, have now entered guilty pleas for the crimes that happened between 2001 and 2009.

Authorities say Vega faked paperwork to steal funds from the program. Vega had worked as a child care liaison who approved and issued checks for the county office of education’s child care program.

Several of Luna’s relatives were among those charged.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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