Fraud of the Day Care

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Parents have to consider many factors when evaluating child care providers. Now add screening for fraudulent welfare collection to the list. (As if there aren’t enough stressors over entrusting the care of one’s children to someone else.) The Herald Bulletin tells the story of an Indiana day care operator who collected Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid benefits she was not eligible for.

The story states that the woman, who provided day care in her home using five different business names (red flag, anyone?), was charged with a Class D felony for stealing thousands of dollars in government benefits. But because of several factors, the judge reduced the charge to a Class A misdemeanor and imposed a sentence of one year of probation. In part, the judge’s decision was based on the child care provider’s payment of restitution for the $19,584 in food stamp and Medicaid benefits she had illegally received and to her otherwise clean record. The judge reportedly noted the rarity of a blank criminal history in his courtroom. (Considering this woman went straight to a felonious act for her first crime, she’s fortunate that the court was merciful.)

The prosecutor recommended the reduced sentence after hearing testimony from the defendant’s sister (who also happened to be employed in the business, though apparently not implicated in the fraud). The sister testified about the defendant’s character, stating that the accused dropped out of college to raise her two younger siblings so that they would not enter the foster care system. (So at least big sis cared more about kids than money at some point in her life.)

One interesting twist in this case is that the day care owner succeeded in amending her probation sentence so that she could see her mother and her son, who both happen to be felons. (Considering the number of intra-family frauds discussed on Fraud of the Day, it’s remarkable that this is the only documented crime of this Hoosier hoaxer. Let’s hope it’s her last one.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Day care owner receives a year of probation for welfare fraud,” written by Devan Filchak and published by The Herald Bulletin on November 18, 2015.

ANDERSON – Tears and noises of relief and joy filled the courtroom Wednesday when a local day care owner, who was accused of welfare fraud, was sentenced to a year of probation.

Madison Circuit Court 6 Judge Mark Dudley decided to treat Christina Coy’s Class D felony theft charge as a Class A misdemeanor.

Coy, who provided day care in her home under five different business names, including Apple Critters Child Care, pleaded guilty in October. According to inbusiness.com, the businesses were established in 2008.

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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.