Judge gave founder of services agency the maximum in starvation case
A judge has sentenced the owner of a social services agency to 17-and-a-half years in prison following the starvation death of a disabled Philadelphia teen under her watch. Fourteen year-old Danieal Kelly was found covered in bed sores at her mother’s home in 2006.
Before imposing the sentence U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell said 61-year-old Michal Kamuvaka engaged in “an orgy of document fabrication” on the day of Danieal Kelly’s death. Dalzell said employees of Multi-ethnic Behavioral Health skipped home visits and forged records as part of the cover-up.
Dalzell said he imposed the maximum sentence for several reasons, including a lack of remorse on the part of Kamuvaka.
Assistant U-S Attorney Bea Witzleben says she’s happy with the Judge’s sentence.
“The citizens of this country sleep at night because our government provides funds, taxpayer money, to help these children survive. And in an outrageous jaw-dropping level of fraud for six years they refused to do that work and the city unfortunately did not catch them until Danieal died.”
Dalzell also ordered more than a million dollars in restitution. Kamavaka and three other defendants from the now defunct agency will have to come up with the money.
Kamuvaka was sentenced for fraud and obstruction. She still faces an involuntary manslaughter trial in state court this fall.
The judge also sentenced the co-owner and manager of Multi-Ethnic Behavioral Health to fourteen years. Fifty-two year-old Soloman Manamela apologized to the judge and said Kelly’s death traumatized him.