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first_img As part of her probation, Rankins was ordered to pay the restitution to the best of her ability, but in the ensuing three-plus years made just $2,500 in payments, Hope said. In addition to buying the house in Lancaster valued at between $700,000 and $800,000, Rankins also paid for $10,000 in concrete work and $11,500 in window coverings, Hope said. Rankins also owned a home in Palmdale. She also leased a 2006 BMW valued at $121,295, Hope said. Rankins told a deputy probation officer she was running the loan mortgage business, but as a convicted felon she cannot become a licensed broker, Hope said. As part of her probation, Rankins was ordered to only use the name of Alvina Rankins, but used the name Alvina Mitchell on loan and other documents. She was ordered not to apply for any kind of aid, but evidence showed she applied for aid for her three children for free lunches, Hope said. Rankins, who was convicted of arson, auto theft and receiving stolen property in 1988, 1992 and 1995, respectively, lost her child-care license in November 1999. She was accused of fraudulently receiving the Medi-Cal benefits from November 1995 to February 1999. In the welfare fraud case, Rankins was accused of wrongfully collecting $20,549 in welfare payments from 1996 to 1998. She went off welfare in 1998 after her child-care income increased to an estimated $10,000 to $12,000 a month, prosecutors said. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “She seems to write her own rules and doesn’t take into account limitations put on her by the court,” Hope said. “She was ordered to obey a handful of rules and failed to do so.” Attorneys for Rankins did not respond to requests for comment. Rankins was arrested Nov. 16 on suspicion of violating her probation after probation officers and sheriff’s deputies searched her home. She has been in custody since then without bail and paid up the remaining restitution Dec. 23, Hope said. Paperwork found at her home prompted detectives to initiate an investigation into possible real estate fraud. The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed. Rankins, who before her fraud conviction provided child care under a county contract despite having a criminal record, was given a suspended three-year prison sentence in 2002 and sentenced to a year in jail for illegally receiving welfare and MediCal aid while doing child care. A Palmdale woman convicted of welfare fraud in 2001 was sent to prison after she bought a house valued at more than $700,000, spent $44,800 on a pool, and bought an SUV for herself and a motorcycle for her boyfriend while paying only $2,500 toward her court-ordered $30,000 restitution. Alvina Rankins, 41, whose three-year prison sentence had been suspended after her fraud conviction, also tried while on probation to get free school lunches for her three children and apparently had been running a loan mortgage business without a license, prosecutors said. “Here was a woman who already obtained $30,000 in welfare aid she was not legally entitled to but continued to thumb her nose at the legal system,” Deputy District Attorney Tamia Hope said. At the conclusion of a probation violation hearing Wednesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ann Jones found that Rankins had violated the terms and conditions of her probation, was not amenable to another grant of probation, and sentenced her to three years in prison. last_img read more

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