A 70-year-old grandmother has been ordered to serve 12 months in prison and 18 months of extended supervision because she defrauded the Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program. She is accused of cheating the state out of almost $180,000. The third member of her family to be sentenced for the same type of crimes, she joins her daughter and grandson, who were accused of stealing about $260,000 from the program. They were also sentenced to prison and extended release. Her criminal defense attorney did not comment on the case.
She is accused of faking attendance records, overcharging for children and charging the state for kids who never came to her program. Her center was closed in 2010 after an investigation revealed fraud in the Wisconsin program. The program was originally started to benefit Milwaukee's poorest children. Thus far, 30 people face criminal charges in the crackdown, and about 200 facilities have been shut down.
She started watching children in 1989, one of at least five family members to be involved in the care of young ones. She and her family members fraudulently collected more than $16 million throughout the years.
When the program started in 1997, it was designed to help families who needed the support to help pay for child care. However, safeguards were not put in place to protect the financial aspects of the program. Because of this, providers could bill the state about $200 per week, even when parents didn't work and when kids didn't come.
When someone is involved in alleged fraudulent activity, they could suffer serious consequences. A criminal defense attorney might be able to negotiate a plea agreement with reduced charges.
Source: 620 WTMJ, "Grandmother sentenced in child care program scam," April 5, 2013