Missouri: Somali Day Care Owner Sentenced for Ripping Off Taxpayers in Lucrative Fraud Scheme

Thanks to reader Joanne for alerting me to this news from a week ago about the sentencing of a Somali ‘new American’ in a day care fraud scheme that cheated taxpayers out of a half a million dollars.

I’m posting almost the entire Justice Department press release because it is chock full of information about how he operated the scam and how the feds nabbed him.

 

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BUSTED!

(Emphasis below is mine!)

KC Day Care Owner Sentenced for $556,000 Fraud Scheme

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The owner of a Kansas City, Missouri, day care center was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to fraudulently receive more than $556,000 in federal benefits.

Sharif Karie, 41, of Olathe, Kan., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to four years and 10 months in federal prison without parole.

On Jan. 11, 2019, Karie was convicted at trial of participating in a conspiracy to steal government property, theft of government property, three counts of aggravated identity theft, three counts of wire fraud, 15 counts of money laundering, and six counts of mail fraud.

Can you believe it!  The feds are not making us play the secret decoder ring game and have actually said where the crook is from!

Karie, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, was the owner and CEO of a day care center established under two businesses and two names for the same location, with the same key employees: KARIE Day Care Center, LLC, and Tima Child Care Center, LLC, at 1019 Admiral Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. Tima Child Care Center was established under false pretense with a straw owner, according to court documents, apparently to circumvent the state’s oversight efforts.

Co-defendant Sheri Beamon, 48, of Kansas City, Missouri, was the director of KARIE/Tima Childcare Center. Beamon pleaded guilty on Sept. 10, 2018, to her role in the conspiracy and will be sentenced on Aug. 15, 2019.

The day care centers submitted false childcare claims to the state of Missouri that fraudulently inflated the number of hours and children who actually attended the childcare centers. The conspiracy, which lasted from October 2013 to June 2016, resulted in a loss of $536,833 to the Missouri Department of Health and Social Services.The Child Care and Development Fund provides daycare subsidies for low-income families where the parents are employed or engaged in job training. Providers contract with the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and submit claims electronically.

Additionally, Karie committed fraud by misleading the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) when he understated his income and assets. Karie received Section 8 assistance, which is funded by HUD. The fraud scheme resulted in a loss of more than $40,000 to the Housing Authority.

You will be happy to see this next bit of information:

This case was the result of a nationwide sweep that targeted child care center fraud schemes. The national law enforcement operation in Missouri and six other states was the result of separate, but related, federal investigations into childcare center fraud that resulted in a loss of more than $1 million to the government.

Clever feds!  I love this:

Pole cameras, which were installed near the day care center, captured footage of the entrances and exits of the building during two time periods in 2015 and in 2016.

Timesheets and billing records were reviewed and compared to the children seen on the pole cameras being dropped off and picked up from the daycare center during that time. There were significant discrepancies between the timesheets, claims submitted, and the pole camera footage. According to court documents, even the fire evacuation records were falsified indicating a fire drill was performed on a date when pole cameras were capturing footage of the entrance/exit of the day care and the planned evacuation route as provided to the state. The drill never took place.

At no time during its operation, according to court documents, did Karie Day Care Center meet the minimum health and safety standards for operation as established by Missouri statute and agreed to by contract. Tima Child Care Center was conceived as the state was in process of shutting down Karie Day Care Center for failure to comply with standards for health, safety, and record keeping. Had the state known that Karie was actually operating the business, according to court documents, a license would not have been approved.

Parents were being paid to care for their own kids on the taxpayers’ dime:

The state conducted a compliance review of the daycare center’s billing for May 2014 and July 2014. The review found several attendance records missing. The review also identified 14 out of the 15 families with children at the center who had a parent employed there. With only two classrooms, it is improbable that parents were not caring for their own children. One of these parents reported that her job was contingent on having all of her children placed in care at KARIE Day Care Center so her child care would be paid by the state. According to court records, nearly all children enrolled for services were those of employees, in violation of state regulations.This same 2014 audit found several discrepancies on the time sheets submitted to the state.

Subsequent unannounced inspections at KARIE Day Care Center found the facility in violation of state regulations pertaining to child care licensing rules, including health and safety, staff ratios, and the maintaining of attendance records. Each of the inspections resulted in violation findings.

LOL!  Just another example of how immigrant (new American!) entrepreneurs benefit the US economy (NOT!). 

This is a story worth spreading far and wide!

This post is filed in my ‘Daycare fraud’ category, here.

Feds Provide Training for In-Home Day Care for Refugees

That headline is not exactly correct!  You, the American taxpayers, pay for Day Care training so refugees who have been in the country for less than five years can have “culturally appropriate” child care, and get paid to stay home with their own kids and a few others.

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Congolese women in Iowa get federally-funded training to take care of their kids at home.

I’ve written about this grant program provided by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement over the years (see one 2015 story at RRW), but a story from Iowa (hat tip: Joanne) reminds me I should tell new readers about it especially in light of news I’ve posted here since January about how just this type of taxpayer-funded day care leads to fraud.

In one case, the day care provider paid other families to pretend to drop off kids and then the provider submitted for payment an inflated number of attendees.

Continue reading “Feds Provide Training for In-Home Day Care for Refugees”

Does Minnesota Represent the Tip of the Iceberg for Day Care Assistance Fraud?

Readers may remember stories like this one from last year when law enforcement raided a Minneapolis Day Care Center.

Minneapolis daycare raided as part of massive fraud investigation

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Baraka Child Care Center 

 

Continue reading “Does Minnesota Represent the Tip of the Iceberg for Day Care Assistance Fraud?”

Buffalo, NY Daycare Owner Sentenced to 12 Months for Ripping off US Taxpayers

Just before Christmas the US Justice Department announced that Tariq Butt, 42, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of theft of government funds, was sentenced to serve 12 months in prison and was ordered to pay $305,000 in restitution to the US Department of Health and Human Resources.

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So what did Butt and his wife Halima Mohammed do?

They were the owners of two day care centers with the adorable names of Twinkle Stars Day Care Center and Candyland Daycare, both located in the City of Buffalo.

In only a little over 8 months they scammed us to the tune of $305,000 via a government program known as the Child Care and Development Block Grant program when they submitted “hundreds of false and fraudulent claims” for children who did not attend the daycare.

According to the Urban Institute,

“The Child Care and Development Block Grant is a federal and state program that allows states to help low-income families pay for child care so they can work or attend a job training or educational program.”

And, get this, the program got an additional $5.8 billion from the feds in February 2018.

Gee, and Trump only wants $5 billion to secure our border.

Butts’ wife, Halima Mohammed, was previously convicted and sentenced to five months in prison and three years supervised release, to include five months home detention.

Local news reported the story on December 20th, here and here.

This story and others like it rarely make the national news.

There is no mention of nationality or immigration status of the pair.question mark