New Month, More Fraud Found in Wisconsin Shares Program

MacIver News Service | October 18, 2010

[Madison, Wisc…] Another month brings more news of continued fraud within the controversial child care program known as Wisconsin Shares.

The program, aimed to help low-income families pay for child care, continues to be subjected to waste, fraud and abuse according to the latest report from the Department of Children and Families.

The Department has been required to provide the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance with monthly reports since mid 2009 after widespread reports of abuse within the program.

In September, the Department of Children and Families spent $229,700 on fraud prevention and investigation, and had $35,900 in expenses related to recovering overpayments due to error or fraud.

As a result of those expenditures, DCF recovered $175,899 in overpayments and/or restitution in September  ($38,161 in child care overpayments to individuals and $137,737 in overpayments to child care providers).

$559,099 in overpayments to suspended providers were newly reported this month, bringing the cumulative total overpayments to suspended child care providers in the program to more than $5.2 million.

Ten more child care providers were suspended from participating in Wisconsin Shares in September, bringing the total number of suspended providers to nearly 170.