'Operation Pay Care' defendant sentenced

Michael P. Tremoglie Aug. 17, 2012, 7:00am

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) -- A former New York City employee was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to two years of probation for her role in a bribery scheme involving a ring of day care centers.

Carolyn Eason, 64, of St. Albans, N.Y., pled guilty in March 2011 to receiving bribes in exchange for taking official action to benefit day care centers in Brooklyn, New York.

Eason was a former Early Childhood Educational Consultant for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She received $32,000 bribes, from 2006 to August 2010, from day care center owners in exchange for, among other things, overlooking health code violations at the centers.

Eason will also forfeit $32,000 and to pay $31,800 in restitution to the City of New York. She must also pay a $200 special assessment fee.

The conviction is part of "Operation Pay Care," a joint investigation led by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and DOI. 12 defendants have been convicted as part of Operation Pay Care. Four are New York City officials. Leonid Gutnik, a former Job Opportunity Specialist/Child Care Specialist for the New York City Human Resources Administration, received 40 months in prison; Aurora Villareal, the former Borough Manager for Brooklyn and Staten Island Group Child Care Programs at DOHMH, received four years in prison; Emile Nekhala, a former employee at DOHMH, received two years in prison; and Mariya Rapoport, a former employee at HRA, received three years of probation which included six months of home confinement.

Four day care operators have also been sentenced: Lyudmila Grushko received nine months in prison; Inna Malinskaya received seven months in prison; Yana Krugly received six months in prison; and Grigoriy Sankin received three years of probation.

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