May 27, 2018 | Norbert Haupt
Here is an article in the Muskogee Phoenix, a local paper in Oklahoma, about a woman who was convicted of a felony for childcare subsidy fraud.
Subsidized childcare programs are intended to assist low-income families.
In this case, the woman underreported her family’s income, making her eligible for childcare assistance. As a result, $18,738.90 in fraudulent childcare assistance was paid out to the childcare provider.
Oklahoma was the first state in the country to install a swipe card tracking system over 13 years ago, making it much more complex to commit subsidy fraud. In this case, the woman was a former worker in the child welfare department, so she may have gained knowledge of how to bypass the system.
If the family acted alone, and the childcare provider didn’t know about it, the family received subsidized childcare paid by the state when it would normally have been their own expense, due to the family’s income.
Since money for childcare assistance is usually paid directly to the childcare provider on the family’s behalf, the fraud would not directly benefit the family.
This kind of fraud is harder to catch, since it depends on documentation the families need to provide, and if they forge documents, or withhold information, it is difficult to detect and track.