Ocean Township Owner/Operator Falsified Quarterly Expense Reports
(FREEHOLD) The owner and operator of an Asbury Park daycare center and pre-school was arrested Tuesday after a Monmouth County grand jury returned a 9-count indictment charging her with crimes related to contracts to provide services for city pre-schoolers, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.
Sylvia B. Brodrick, 59, of Shadow Lawn Drive in the Oakhurst section of Ocean Township, is charged with two counts each of third degree Theft by Deception, third degree Tampering with Public Records, second degree Making False Representations in Payment Claims on a Government Contract, second degree False Material Representation in Connection with Performance of a Government Contract, and one count of third degree Identity Theft. After surrendering to authorities Tuesday morning, Broderick was released by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci, Jr., J.S.C. pending a future court date.
If convicted of a second degree offense, Brodrick faces a New Jersey state prison sentence of up to 10 years in prison on each count. The third degree offenses each carry a maximum of up to 5 years in prison.
An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office determined Brodrick as the owner and operator of Little Tots II, located at 603 Mattison Ave. in the city, operated under a contract with the Asbury Park Board of Education (APBOE) to provide pre-school services for eligible 3- and 4-year-old children in the school district for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years. The services were provided without charge to the eligible children and the costs associated with the programs were reimbursed by the APBOE. Under the terms of the contracts, Brodrick’s Little Tots II received reimbursement payments for the services provided to the eligible children, including staffing expenses, as determined by required quarterly expense reports submitted to the APBOE by Little Tots II documenting its contractually-incurred expenses. The contracts with the APBOE were valued at over $1.2 million for the 2010-11 school year and over $800,000 for the 2011-12 school year.
This Office’s investigation revealed Brodrick submitted staffing expense reports and supporting documentation under both contracts seeking repayment for the salary of an individual listed in the Little Tots II expense reports as a janitor. The investigation revealed, however, that this individual interviewed for the post as a night janitor in 2010 but worked only one night before quitting the job, never returning to work at Little Tots II. Despite never collecting a paycheck for the one night of work, Brodrick regularly reported his continued employment status at Little Tots II and submitted expenses associated with his employment for reimbursement to the APBOE, fraudulently receiving over $40,000 in public monies over the term of the two-year contract.
The investigation also uncovered a second individual, working at Little Tots II during the two contract years, was paid “under the table” in cash. This individual, whose employment was never reported to the APBOE, was never subjected to a criminal background check or a child abuse record information check required by both the terms of the contracts with the APBOE as well as the governing State standards for child care centers such as Little Tots II. The investigation further revealed the second individual was not legally documented to work in the United States.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
The case is being prosecuted to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor David Fritch.
Brodrick is represented by Victoria Emanuele, Esq., of Lakewood.