Waste, Fraud and Abuses Continue at Wisconsin Shares

[Madison, Wisc…] ¬†Wisconsin Shares continues to be subjected to waste, fraud and abuse according to the latest report from the Department that runs the program aimed to help low-income families pay for child care.

The cumulative total overpayments to suspended child care providers in the program exceeds $3.3 million, with $440,433 in overpayments reported this month. Eight providers (all from Milwaukee County) were suspended from the program in April, bringing the total number of suspended providers to more than 140.

Sen. Alberta Darling, a member of the Joint Committee on Finance and a critic of how the Department of Children and Families has managed the program, expressed frustration with the release of the new figures.

“Despite intense media scrutiny, public outrage and legislative action, it is clear that dishonest individuals continue to abuse the Wisconsin Shares program,” said Darling (R-River Hills). “As the author of legislation that kicks criminals out of the publicly-subsidized child care business, I hope the state aggressively pursues overpayments and punishes fraud.”

In April, the Department of Children and Families spent $156,300 on fraud prevention and investigation, and had $31,800 in expenses related to recovering overpayments due to error or fraud. As a result of their efforts, DCF recovered $119,317 in overpayments last month.

The Department has been providing the JFC with monthly reports since mid 2009 after widespread reports of abuse within the program.