This took a while for a pretty straightforward case. I have real concerns of mixing Florida's public school money with vouchers for private religious schools.
Sisters Found Guilty in Fraud Case
Neither sister showed any reaction when the six-member jury returned its verdict Wednesday morning after a five-week trial.
Mitchell, 40, and Nealy, 39, were allowed to remain free on bail, pending the results of their pre-sentencing investigation, which will take about six weeks.
A previous trial in the case ended when a jury couldn't reach a verdict and a mistrial was declared.
Prosecutors said the women swindled about $200,000 from state and federal programs through a network of corporations, including the private religious schools Faith Christian Academy in Bartow and Cathedral of Faith Christian Academy in Lakeland.
Previously their lawyer had tried to blame the problems on bad record keeping, but I guess that $35,000 Hummer got in the way of such an argument.
Lawyer blames Florida voucher money theft on bad record-keeping...like that $35,000 hummer?
In the summer of 2003, Betty Mitchell purchased a used 2003 Hummer H2 with $35,000 in cash that was taken from state scholarship funds, according to Durden.
The state has also alleged that Nealy bought a 1990 Lexus L400 in December 2003 using cash that was deposited into the account of Restoration NOW ministries, which is run by the family. The students were disabled and exceptional-education students, and the state paid the school a certain amount of money per child who attended.
The more recent articles fail to mention that two of the defendants had previously been charged in the death of Mitchell's former husband. There was a hung jury there as well.
Betty Mae Jives Mitchell, then Betty Clark, and Louise Henry were accused in 1987 of poisoning Mitchell's former husband, Thomas Joseph Clark, with arsenic in Crittenden County, Ark. The trial ended in a hung jury, and the state dropped its case against the pair.
I 'm pretty sure there are still types of vouchers which allow public tax money to go to private religious schools, with little oversight of the students' progress. Either way, this shit has GOT TO GO.
SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: LOOK THE FUCK INTO IT!