Former day-care operator sentenced to jail for fraud

A 51-year-old former child-care operator has been sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in county jail, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office said Friday.

Hubert Hendricks, a/k/a Hubie Hendricks, of East Lansdowne, Delaware County, was sentenced Thursday by Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Anne Marie Coyle, who also ordered him to pay $900,000 in restitution and to serve 20 years of probation.

Hendricks had pleaded guilty in November to welfare fraud, forgery and related offenses.

In 2008, he submitted an application to the state to run three day-care centers in Philadelphia. On those forms, prosecutors said, he falsified his FBI and State Police criminal-background checks, failing to let authorities know he had previously been convicted of a federal narcotics-distribution charge and had two other unrelated convictions.

His three centers, operated under the name of Rising Stars Child Care and Learning Center, were abruptly closed by the state in November 2013. They were located at 6327 Woodland Ave. and 6315 Woodland Ave. in Southwest Philadelphia, and at 2943 Reed St. in South Philadelphia.

Defense attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr., said the prosecutor had sought a longer sentence in state prison. Peruto said the courtroom was packed Thursday with Hendricks' supporters, including parents of children who attended the day-care centers and former employees.

The D.A.'s Office said Hendricks collected more than $9.3 million in childcare payments from the state. Peruto said most of the money was used to run the day cares, and the $900,000 restitution was what Hendricks made personally in salary over four years.

- Julie Shaw

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