Day care options are minimal at best and expensive at worst. When Sandra Mondaine opened a day care in her home in 2009, parents of young kids must have felt relief at the chance to enroll their kids into a home-like environment that provided a personalized childcare experience. Play, explore, and learn. All in the safety of a home. Except no one ever checked Mondains’ credentials. Because if they did, they would have discovered that she was a government benefit stealing mother whose own children were incarcerated. And she had no business being a childcare provider.
Mondaine received Title II Disability Insurance benefits from January 2008 through December 2017. Less than a year after she was rewarded benefits, Mondaine became self-employed and filed taxes as a self-employed childcare provider. She did not report her self-employment to the Social Security Administration when she began her business. Why would she do that? Then her disability benefits would have been cancelled.
Mondaine responded to several inquiries from the Social Security Administration in which she minimized and fraudulently represented earnings from her self-employment. Mondaine falsely claimed that her sons were performing most of the work for her childcare business and were paid most of the profits. But again, if anyone had checked Mondain’s credentials, they would have learned that Mondains’ children were not helping because they were in jail. Fraudsters thrive whenno one checks their credentials. Because there is no way Mondaine would have fraudulently received over $200,000 in disability benefits if someone, anyone, had checked the credentials of Mondains’ incarcerated sons! Can’t teach while in jail.
Great job by the Social Security Administration in this case.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Missouri woman pleads guilty to $209,000 disability benefits fraud” published by State News on September 12, 2023
A Missouri woman pleaded guilty in federal court to fraudulently receiving more than $200,000 in disability benefits while operating a childcare business. Sandra D. Mondaine, 63, Grandview, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips to one count of theft of government money.
By pleading guilty, Mondaine admitted that she received $209,309 in disability benefits over a 10-year period while she was self-employed as a childcare provider. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Mondaine must forfeit to the government a money judgment of $209,309.