Child Care Welfare Fraud: It’s Not Just Minnesota
Massive fraud in welfare programs intended to subsidize child care for low-income families has been a huge news story in Minnesota, where the scandal has centered on day care operations run by Somali immigrants. It appears that something similar is going on in Nebraska:
The heads of four child care centers in Lincoln and Omaha have been indicted on a scheme involving hundreds of thousands of dollars in subsidies.
Two men — Seth Mock, the owner of Mock’s Loving Life Learning Center in Omaha, and Abdikadir Miji, the owner of Miji Child Care Center in Omaha — are charged with money laundering and two counts of theft of government property.
Three others — Aileen Njoroge, the director of Mock’s Loving Life Learning Center; Mubanga Chongo-Ofafa, the owner of Little Blessings centers in Omaha and Lincoln; and Miji’s wife, Naima Haji, the owner of Comfort Home Care and M&N Day Care Center in Omaha — all face single counts of theft.
In indictments unsealed this week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Russell detailed the thefts that totaled more than $350,000 in federal funds under the Child Care and Development Fund Program.
In the indictments, Russell alleged that Miji, Haji, Mock, Chongo-Ofafa and Njoroge all submitted false claims about children attending their child care centers in order to receive payments to which they weren’t owed.
One wonders whether this sort of thing is going on across the country, and how massive the problem of welfare fraud really is.