– Attorney General Paula T. Dow and
Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor
announced that a former board member of
the defunct New Africa Day Care Center in
Newark was sentenced to prison today for
stealing a private donation made to the
to Director Taylor, Mahdi Suluki, 68, of
East Orange, who served as a consultant
and board member of New Africa Day Care
Center, was sentenced to four years in state
prison by Superior Court Judge Pedro J.
Jimenez Jr. in Mercer County. Suluki was
ordered to pay $4,785 in restitution to
the Newark business which made the donation.
was indicted in June 2006 along with his
ex-wife, Muslimah Suluki, 62, of College
Park, Georgia, who was executive director
of New Africa, and her son, Robert Parish,
46, of Neptune, N.J., who was manager of
the daycare center. New Africa, which ceased
operating in 2004, was formerly located
on South Orange Avenue in Newark. The corporate
owner, New Africa Day Care Center Inc.,
was also indicted. The indictment alleged
that between January 2001 and March 2004,
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.
Suluki pleaded guilty on July 21, 2008 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.
Mahdi Suluki fled New Jersey after pleading
guilty, but he and Muslimah Suluki, who
also was a fugitive, were arrested in January
in North Carolina by local authorities on
New Jersey warrants. They were returned
to New Jersey in May by the U.S. Marshals
Service. The charges against Muslimah Suluki
Attorney General Susan Kase is prosecuting
the case for the Division of Criminal Justice
Corruption Bureau and represented the state
at the sentencing.
July 2008, Parrish was convicted at trial
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. On Oct. 24, 2008, he 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.
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 Dow thanked the
Department of Education for providing administrative
resources and investigative assistance to
the Division of Criminal Justice throughout
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.