LITTLE ROCK — Another sponsor of an Arkansas feeding program has been indicted in connection with an alleged scheme to steal federal money, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Chris Thyer said Wednesday.

LITTLE ROCK — Another sponsor of an Arkansas feeding program has been indicted in connection with an alleged scheme to steal federal money, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Chris Thyer said Wednesday.


Christopher Nichols, 24, of North Little Rock surrendered to authorities after the filing of a 10-count indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury Feb. 4, Thyer said in a news release. The indictment charges Nichols with wire fraud as part of a scheme to fraudulently obtain U.S. Department of Agriculture funds.


Nichols’ indictment comes after Gladys Elise King, 34, of England, Tonique D. Hatton, 37, of North Little Rock, and Jacqueline D. Mills, 39, of Helena-West Helena were indicted in December on 76 counts stemming from an alleged fraud scheme. King and Hatton are former state Department of Human Services employees, and Mills was the sponsor of a summer feeding program.


The indictment against Nichols states that he sponsored a feeding program through an organization called A Vision For Success. It alleges that a relative of Nichols worked for DHS, which administers feeding programs in Arkansas funded by the USDA, and processed applications from sponsors applying to participate in the feeding programs.


The indictment alleges that Nichols applied with DHS to participate as a sponsor and that his relative at DHS approved his applications. The only employees Nichols listed on his applications were additional family members. Few or no children were actually fed, despite false reports by Nichols of daily attendance and meals served, according to the indictment.


The penalty for wire fraud is up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.


The investigation is continuing and is being conducted by the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, the IRS, the USDA’s Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Marshals Service, Thyer said.