For Immediate Release
July 22, 2011
Contact: Erika Monroe-Kane or Stephanie Hayden, Department of Children and Families, (608) 266-9000
Third Child Care Provider this Month Sentenced for Fraud
Due to the continued focus of the Department of Children and Families and Milwaukee law enforcement to stop fraud in the Wisconsin Shares program, another child care provider was sentenced today for stealing from taxpayers. This is the third provider sentenced this month for scamming the Wisconsin Shares program.
Mark Rouse, owner of Growing and Learning, was sentenced today to 3 years in prison and 5 years extended supervision. He was convicted in May of two counts of theft. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) uncovered signs that fraud may be taking place at Growing and Learning. During the investigation, DCF saw no activity and no children present at Growing and Learning. However, during this time Rouse continued to bill the Wisconsin Shares subsidy program for providing care to children. As a member of the Milwaukee Anti-Fraud Task Force, DCF worked in partnership with law enforcement on stopping this criminal activity.
"Child care fraud drains scarce resources that should be helping families who need it," said DCF Secretary Anderson. "The prosecution of those who defraud Wisconsin Shares demonstrates our commitment to aggressively targeting and eliminating fraud and abuse and protecting the taxpayers of Wisconsin."
By tackling fraud in Wisconsin Shares, DCF has saved taxpayers over $130 million. Governor Scott Walker is committed to eliminating waste, fraud and abuse of public funds.
These charges are a result of the collaborative work by the Milwaukee Child Care Anti-Fraud Task Force, led by the Department of Children and Families and the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office, which works collaboratively to investigate and prosecute child care fraud. The joint effort also includes the Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department, Wisconsin Department of Justice, Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Attorney's Office.
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