A cofounder of the now-defunct social service agency Multiethnic Behavioral Health Inc., which oversaw Philadelphia teenager Danieal Kelly in the months before her death, was sentenced Thursday to 90 months in prison.
Earle McNeill, 72, of Philadelphia, had pleaded guilty to fraud charges stemming from the investigation into the agency after the 14-year-old girl died from malnutrition and severe bed sores in 2006.
His sentence was increased about 12 months above prosecutors' recommendations after U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell determined that McNeill had not truthfully reported his Multiethnic income to a federal probation officer.
McNeill said he had earned $20,000 a year, when records showed he had been paid between $36,000 and $58,000, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bea Witzleben said.
The death of Kelly, who had cerebral palsy, prompted the firing of top Department of Human Services officials and multiple investigations of the city agency. Dalzell has also been sharply critical of the agency.
In court documents, prosecutors said McNeill had "joined in the rampant fraud at the agency," adding that Multiethnic had "billed the city for services not rendered, and kept the contract by fabricating false records to make it appear that all services had been delivered."
Four other agency employees have been sentenced to prison. Another four defendants - Mickal Kamuvaka and Solomon Manamela, who also cofounded the agency, and caseworkers Mariam Coulibaly and Julius Murray - were convicted in March and await sentencing.
McNeill and the eight others were charged with failing to provide social services, required by a contract with the city, to at-risk families and children. The DHS paid Multiethnic about $3.5 million with federal funding from 2000 through 2007.
McNeill, a psychologist, holds a degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate from Boston University.
Kelly's mother is serving a sentence in state prison.