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September 14, 2015: Foster Care Executives Plead to Embezzlement

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Jane Robison, Assistant Media Chief
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A couple who contracted with Los Angeles County to operate a series of foster homes pleaded guilty today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

CSJ Kidogo, 74, the former executive director of Little People’s World, Inc., pleaded guilty to one felony count of misappropriation of public money. His wife, Hitaji Kidogo, 64, LPW’s former assistant executive director, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of embezzlement, said Deputy District Attorney Susan Choi with the Public Integrity Division.

The couple returns to court on Jan. 15, 2016, for sentencing in case BA429310 in Department 50. On that date, CSJ Kidogo will surrender to serve 180 days in county jail and be placed on five years of formal probation.

Hitaji Kidogo will be placed on supervised summary probation for five years.

Choi said the couple, who have already paid large amounts of restitution, must pay $109,093 to the county when they return for sentencing. Both defendants will be prohibited from operating foster care homes.

Little People’s World (LPW) operated four group homes that provided foster care to 28 children in the county. An audit by the county’s Auditor-Controller discovered that CSJ Kidogo borrowed money earmarked for foster care to purchase real estate for himself and pay mortgages on properties not used for LPW’s foster care program.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.