Child care fraud payments coming in slowly
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wisconsin is trying to recover more than $8 million from roughly 300 child care providers shut down for cheating the taxpayer-subsidized Wisconsin Shares program, but gaps in the state’s system for collecting restitution make it unlikely taxpayers will see full repayment anytime soon.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/YA3zOH ) the state’s collections system involves three different agencies, and includes lax payment plans and passive pursuit of assets.
The state Department of Children and Families hasn’t documented or filed claims for all the stolen money. State prosecutors say they aren’t equipped to hunt for hidden assets. And the Corrections Department leaves discretion to individual probation agents who don’t systematically investigate offenders’ assets.
In one case, the newspaper reported, a provider convicted of scamming $264,000 is repaying $42 a month. At that rate, it would take nearly 525 years to repay the money in full.