Four San Diego County residents accused of child care benefits fraud
On Monday, four San Diego County residents accused of bilking state child care benefits programs out of millions were arraigned in federal court.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the defendants falsely claimed that people were working at or attending UMI Learning Center, a vocational and language school located on University Avenue in the Rolando neighborhood.
Child care providers then submitted false child care attendance forms, which alleged the children of UMI Learning Center's workers or students were being cared for, according to prosecutors.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says child care providers split benefits programs funds they received with the parents, and the parents were expected to pay $200 to UMI Learning Center in exchange for the fraudulent child care attendance forms.
The alleged fraud caused more than $3.7 million in child care benefits program funds to be paid out by Child Development Associates and the Young Men's Christian Association, the two contractors in San Diego that administer the child care benefits program funds from the state's Department of Health and Human Services, prosecutors say.
The U.S. Attorney's Office identified the defendants as Mohamed Muriidi Mohamed, 46, of Spring Valley; Amina Abdirazak Omar, 40, of Spring Valley; Osob Abdirazak Omar, 32, of San Diego; and Omar Omar, 22, of San Diego. A news release announcing the charges did not specify what roles each defendant allegedly had in the scheme.
"Child care benefit programs are designed to help parents who need the assistance of quality child care service," said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman in a statement. "Fraud takes money away from the very communities those programs are intended to serve."