California Scheming

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A Lancaster, California day care operator who conspired with her daughters to commit child care fraud has been sentenced following a plea agreement. Cathy Denice Pullum received four years in prison and, with daughters Ashley Ann Collins and Taylor Louise Lind, must pay about $1.07 million in restitution for their child care fraud scheme. (This appears to be a case where bad apples don’t fall far from the tree.) Collins and Lind were also sentenced to five years of probation, 45 days of community service, and two years of electronic monitoring.

The trio got local mothers to provide their children’s identities and let them collect money from a government assistance program for low income families. (What’s a little fraud among family and friends?) The women paid the mothers small kickbacks for falsely reporting that their children received daycare through Pullum’s business.

The California child care fraud scheme ran for more than four years and led to charges on 72 felony counts in February 2017. In their agreement, the women pleaded guilty to one felony, admitting to taking more than $500,000 through fraud and embezzlement. Seven other women who participated in the scheme had earlier pleaded guilty to one felony count of grand theft; most were sentenced to five years of probation, and some were required to perform community service. (Who’s going to watch the kids while they’re doing all that community service?)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a KTLA 5 news article, “Lancaster Day Care Owner Gets Prison for Public Assistance Fraud, Must Pay $1 Million in Restitution with Daughters” Aug. 21, 2019.

A Lancaster day care operator who conspired with her two daughters to fraudulently collect thousands in government assistance by falsely claiming she was providing child care services has been sentenced to four years in state prison, authorities said Wednesday.

Cathy Denice Pullum, 52, and her daughters must also pay $1 million in restitution for the scheme they ran for years with the cooperation of mothers who provided the identities of their children, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

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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.