Daycare owner sent to jail

May 6, 2010 3:59:13 PM PDT
Wednesday, ABC11 had the story of how Children's University of Chapel Hill daycare shut down - leaving parents in the lurch and teacher's owed thousands in unpaid salaries.Thursday, Children's University owner Lisa McEntyre faced a judge in Orange County on charges she didn't pay employment taxes and tried to pay for a portion of those taxes with a bad check.

McEntyre's former employees watched as they learned she failed to pay employment taxes for 2008, 2009, and 2010. That's when she owned Children's University. In March, she shut it down with no notice.

"She comes here smiling and she's living in a 1.1 million dollar home and if I don't have my rent payment by Monday, I'm looking at court costs," said former worker Tracy Beckford.

In court, McEntyre's attorney blamed her money troubles on the business failing. That's something the teachers can't understand, since the daycare got more than $335,000 in state subsidy funds since last July. In court, her attorney also blamed the money problems on the IRS seizing funds from McEntyre.

But while IRS documents show $30,000 of state subsidy money was garnished for back taxes. In March, two weeks later, $21,000 of it was released back to McEntyre. That money never went to her unpaid workers - like Sadie Dula. "I'm am glad she finally showed up to face her responsibilities," said Dula. "I'm hoping some good will come out of this for everyone."

In court, McEntyre pleaded guilty to the two charges and was sentenced to five weekends in jail. After sentencing, McEntyre was escorted out by sheriff's deputies. She had no comment on if she was going to pay her workers. Some of the workers say they're happy with the sentence.

"You know what? It gives her a chance to sit and think about what she's done and maybe she won't do it again," said Dula.

So the workers are still looking for their paychecks. Many do have civil judgments against McEntyre, but haven't gotten the money.

As part of the sentencing, the judge ordered McEntyre to pay restitution of more than $9,000 to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission as that is what she owes it.

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