Embattled daycare owner files for bankruptcy


by Adam Walser


Posted on October 4, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 4 at 10:39 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- We are learning new information about how the owner of a Louisville daycare spent her days and money right after the fatal crash of one of her vans.
We already knew that Lewars owed a lot of money to plenty of people, but now that she has filed for bankruptcy protection, we've learned that she also is trying to put taxpayers on the hook for her unpaid fines and taxes.
Since she shut down her daycare center after a fatal bus crash killed her employee and injured more than a dozen children, Lavonia Lewars has been living on unemployment, $1,785 a month according to documents she filed in United States Bankruptcy Court.
WHAS11 first told you months ago that Lewars brought in $125,000 a month in state child care subsidies.
After the daycare shut down, she cleaned out the business’ bank account, taking more than $81,000 in cash.
Yet documents show her net assets now at $38,450 dollars with liabilities of more than $616,000 dollars.
So how did she get in that much financial trouble?
Documents show Lewars admits gambled away $5,000 in the month after the crash.
She also admits owing more than 80 employees unpaid wages.
The bankruptcy records reveal what we told you months ago... that the majority of the employees at Heavenly Angels Daycare Center were Somali refugees.
We talked to some, but they did not want to appear on camera. They all said they did not get paid.
Neither did the Internal Revenue Service.
Lewars owed more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes.
She also owes the Commonwealth of Kentucky more than $300,000 for allegedly overbilling the state for child care subsidies.
We discovered Lewars’ home, a daycare building and a 15-passenger van were all repossessed by Gus Goldsmith, the owner of Action Loans, who financed her ventures.
Lewars is also claiming protection for a store called It Takes 2 Dollars, which her mother operated.
We went to Lewars’ new rental home today to try to talk her, but nobody was there.