Twin Cities Child Care Provider Charged with Stealing Hundreds of Thousands from Low-Income Assistance Program
United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced an indictment charging FOZIA SHEIK ALI, 50, for fraudulently obtaining at least hundreds of thousands of dollars for child care services that had not been provided. ALI is charged with wire fraud and theft of public money. The indictment was unsealed late yesterday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minn.
“This indictment describes a selfish criminal act that kept money from being available for deserving families,” said Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Drew Evans. “BCA agents, along with our partners, will continue to identify and arrest people who commit these costly crimes.”
According to the indictment and documents filed in state court, ALI operated the Salama Child Care Center (Salama) in Minneapolis. Between at least December 2013 and May 2015, ALI defrauded the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) to obtain payments from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) for child care services that were not actually provided. The CCAP program was designed to help eligible families pay for the costs of child care. CCAP in Minnesota is administered by DHS and funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the State of Minnesota.
According to the indictment, ALI submitted claims for CCAP payments that overstated the number of children who actually attended and received day care services from Salama. The claims asserted that more than 100 children attended and received child care at Salama on a given day. On more than one occasion, the claims falsely inflated the number of children that had attended Salama on a given day by more than 400 percent, including on days when Salama was closed.
According to the indictment, ALI stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the State of Minnesota and the federal government.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS, FBI, HHS-OIG, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kokkinen is prosecuting the case.
FOZIA SHEIK ALI, 50
• Wire fraud, 4 counts
• Theft of public money, 1 count