Cashing in on Kids

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If you are a parent that requires supervision for your child during the day, you want a program that ensures your child is well cared for in a safe and healthy educational environment by qualified child care staff. As a discerning parent, you know that a child’s learning environment has an enormous impact on his or her physical, mental and emotional development. Most likely, you would research legitimate, licensed providers until you found one you could trust with teaching your progeny their ABCs and 123s, as well as appropriate behavior. An article on mlive.com details a Kalamazoo daycare owner who committed a big ”No-No” by overbilling the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) for $440,000. (She obviously needs a basic refresher course in learning right from wrong.)

For more than four years, the owner of the Michigan daycare center got a little creative with her numbers and overbilled for the amount of hours children logged at her daycare center, which was licensed to have a maximum of 30 children. (Sometimes just a few hours of playtime with little kids can seem like the longest day of your life.) The story states that she intentionally submitted false information to the State of Michigan so that she could receive between $20,000 and $50,000 in state entitlements more than she was allotted to at her facility. (Criminals are never satisfied with the status quo. They always need more.)

Although the facility was fully licensed, it was previously investigated for having an improper caregiver-to-child ratio over a one week period in 2011. The problem was corrected and the daycare center’s license was renewed. The current investigation began after DHS received complaints from two families, who noticed that their allotted child care hours under Michigan’s Child Development and Care Program were disappearing at a faster rate than planned.

The daycare owner pleaded guilty to one count of false pretenses in connection with the theft of money from the Michigan DHS. Under a plea agreement, a second count of false pretenses and two counts of using a computer to commit a crime will be dismissed when sentenced in April 2014. She also agreed to make payments toward restitution of $440,887. According to the article, she will most likely get probation, but the prosecutor is reserving the right to recommend jail time.

In these hard economic times, many parents are forced to work outside of the home and often need to rely on government assistance to make ends meet when it comes to childcare. Parents who are legitimately working hard to put food on the table don’t deserve to be scammed by daycare providers who care more about the amount of money in their wallet than the welfare of children.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Kalamazoo Daycare Owner Charged with Defrauding State of Michigan of $440,000 Pleads Guilty,” written by Rex Hall, Jr. and published by mlive.com on August 7, 2013.

KALAMAZOO, MI – For more than four years, a Kalamazoo daycare owner submitted falsified documents that she used to bilk the state of Michigan out of more than $400,000, according to court documents.

Catherine Taylor, 58, who owns Kiddy Care Kingdom Daycare, 612 N. Park St., was in court Monday, where she pleaded guilty to one count of false pretenses of $20,000 or more but less than $50,000 in connection with the theft of money from the Michigan Department of Human Services.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.