More Than a Time Out

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Most successful criminals elude law enforcement because they know how not to get caught. They try to blend in by behaving in ways that convince others that they are not a threat. They also rely on a lack of evidence to convict them and hope that witnesses will be reluctant to come forward. A Racine, Wisconsin woman successfully collected more than $25,000 in a child care fraud scheme before her cover was blown. Unfortunately for her, there was plenty of evidence and multiple witnesses who backed up the charges against her.

The Racine woman set up a fake child care center on paper, using the address where her uncle reportedly lived. She claimed that she operated the non-existent child care center, which was state funded, over a period of one-and-a-half years.

Today’s fraud article does not state what caused an investigation to be opened, but it wasn’t long before it was discovered there was no child care business operating at the address reported. (Perhaps that’s because many of the neighbors never saw any children coming or going.) More witnesses and neighbors reported that they only saw the alleged child care center operator at the address when she came to pick up the mail. (And, state funds amounting to $26,844.)

After surveillance was conducted and numerous attempts to talk to the purported child care business owner were unsuccessful, local police raided the address (much to the surprise of her uncle, I’m sure). However, it was probably not a surprise that no child care related items were found in the home (like toys, art supplies, Cheerios or apple juice boxes). Since their findings suggested that something was amiss, the next step was to interview the Racine, Wisconsin woman.

When questioned by investigators, the 30-year-old confessed that she “did not do day care.” In fact, she was in a hurry to lay it all out by requesting a piece of paper to write down her confession. (So much for laying low and trying not to stand out. It was at that point that she probably realized the evidence was too strong.) She also confessed that she had actually been working at a nursing home facility during the time she claimed to be operating the day care facility. (I wonder if she was thinking about running a fraud scheme at the nursing home too.)

The fraudster from Racine was charged with public assistance fraud and is facing up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000  When the judge hands down this woman’s punishment for running a child care fraud scheme that stole nearly $27,000 in state public assistance funds from vulnerable children, let’s hope that she gets slapped with more than just a timeout.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Racine woman accused of running fake daycare, defrauding state out of $27K,” posted on CBS58.com on September 12, 2018.

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) — A Racine woman is now charged after police say she received funds for a child care facility when she wasn’t operating one.

Tonia Canady is now charged with Public Assistance- Fraud/Get Benefits.

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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.