An Omaha couple were sentenced on Friday for childcare fraud.
United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced that Naimi Haji, 29, and her husband, Abdikadir Miji, 32, both of Omaha, Nebraska, were sentenced today in Lincoln, Nebraska, by Chief United States District Judge John M. Gerrard for theft of government property. Miji was sentenced to 8 months in prison and will also serve 3 years on supervised release. He is to pay $100,287.06 in restitution. There is no parole in the federal system. Haji will be on federal probation for 5 years and pay restitution in the amount of $42,840.20.
The Omaha couple owned Comfort Home Care and M&N Day Care Center which were licensed by the State of Nebraska as Family Child Care Home II businesses. Haji signed contracts with the State of Nebraska to receive reimbursement payments through the Child Care and Development Fund program (CCDF) for child care expenses for eligible children pursuant to the rules and regulations of the United States and the State of Nebraska. Miji and Haji then submitted claims for the daycares for reimbursement.
Investigation by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Health and Human Services showed that between June 1, 2015 and April 1, 2016, Miji and Haji worked to submit false claims relating to the number of children attending the daycare facilities in order to receive payments from the United States and the United States Department of Health and Human Services through the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program. The claims contained false information about the number of students attending the daycares on given days and the hours students were at each daycare. Based on those false claims, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reimbursed $42,840.02 alone. Miji and Haji then converted those fund for their own personal use. The total loss from the day care centers amounted to $100, 278.06.
“Every dollar in the taxpayer-funded child care program is vitally important to our nation’s families,” said Curt Muller, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Working with our State and Federal law enforcement partners, we will investigate and seek justice against those who would attack these crucial benefits.”
This case was investigated by U.S. HHS Office of Investigations and Office of Audit Services, the State of Nebraska HHS Investigations, Department of Homeland Security, and Housing & Urban Development Office of Investigations.