– Attorney General Anne Milgram announced
that the former manager of the New Africa
Day Care Center in Newark was sentenced
to jail today for diverting thousands of
dollars in state funding from the day care
center for his personal use.
Parrish, 44, of Neptune, was sentenced to
five years probation, conditioned on him
serving 200 days in the Mercer County Jail,
by Superior Court Judge Thomas P. Kelly
in Mercer County. Parrish also must pay
restitution in an amount to be determined
following a hearing.
July 29, a Mercer County jury found Parrish
guilty as an accomplice of third-degree
charges of theft by failure to make a required
disposition of property, misconduct by a
corporate official, and failure to file
a state income tax return for 2002. The
verdict followed a five-day trial prosecuted
by Deputy Attorney General Susan Kase for
the Division of Criminal Justice.
was indicted in June 2006 along with New
Africa Day Care Center Inc., which operated
at 372 South Orange Ave.; its executive
director, Muslimah Suluki, 60, who is Parrish’s
mother; and her ex-husband, Mahdi Suluki,
a consultant and board member of New Africa.
Suluki, 66, of East Orange, pleaded
guilty on July 21 to third-degree theft
by deception. He admitted that he solicited
a donation of $4,785 from a Newark business
for New Africa after the day care center
went out of business and deposited it into
a bank account he controlled. Under the
plea agreement, the state will recommend
that he receive a sentence of four years
in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for
charges remain pending against Muslimah
Suluki, a fugitive whose last known residence
was in College Park, Ga. The indictment
charged that between January 2001 and March
2004, when New Africa closed, the defendants
took more than $200,000 in state funds that
were dedicated for day care and preschool
programs and used them for personal expenditures,
including, among other things, purchases
of two Jaguars for Muslimah and Mahdi Suluki,
and vacations in Chicago and Hyannis Port,
Mass. Parrish – allegedly in concert
with Muslimah Suluki – diverted funding
from the non-profit New Africa Day Care
Center to a for-profit day care center they
ran in Neptune called Aziz Learning Center,
from which they withdrew profits.
investigation was conducted by State Investigator
Wayne Cummings and Detective Lee Bailey
for the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption
Bureau and Tax Investigator Bruce Stuck
of the New Jersey Division of Taxation Office
of Criminal Investigation.
investigation started when the Department
of Education discovered questionable expenditures
and reported them to the Attorney General’s
Office. Attorney General Milgram thanked
the Department of Education for providing
administrative resources and investigative
assistance to the Division of Criminal Justice
throughout the investigation.
addition to federal funds, New Africa received
Abbott pre-school funding from the New Jersey
Department of Education and day care funding
from the state Department of Human Services.
New Africa, which typically had an enrollment
of about 45 children, received more than
$1.8 million in public funding during the
years it operated.
charges pending against Muslimah Suluki
are merely accusations and she is presumed
innocent until proven guilty.