Social Workers Guilty Of Fraud In Starvation Case
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Four social workers were convicted Wednesday in a fraud case stemming from the starvation death of a disabled Philadelphia teenager whose emaciated body was found with maggot-infested bedsores.
A federal jury in Philadelphia convicted the employees of nowdefunct MultiEthnic Behavioral Health Inc., which was accused of defrauding the city of millions of dollars by not visiting needy families and then covering that up with false paperwork.
Prosecutors say the firm submitted paperwork for visits that were never made after 14-yearold Danieal Kelly’s body was found in 2006. Officials said Kelly, who had cerebral palsy, weighed only 42 pounds at the time of her death, less than half the weight of an average girl her age.
All four defendants were convicted of conspiracy, wire fraud and lying to federal agents, and company co-founders Mickal Kamuvaka, 60, and Solomon Manamela, 52, were convicted of all health care fraud counts. Kamuvaka still faces trial on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in Kelly’s death.
Julius Juma Murray, 52, the caseworker assigned to the Kelly family, and Miriam Coulebaly, 41, were each also convicted of three health care fraud counts but acquitted of three others. Murray also faces a manslaughter trial and is being held as a trial approaches this month on federal immigration charges.
Kelly’s mother, Andrea, is serving 20 to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to third-degree murder.
The four are scheduled for sentencing in June. Prosecutors said sentencing guidelines indicate Kamuvaka could be sentenced to about nine to more than 11 years in prison, while Manamela could get a term of eight to 10 years, Coulibaly could face about six or seven years and Murray four or five years in prison.