More Than a Time Out


Most successful criminals elude law enforcement because they know how not to get caught. They try to blend in by behaving in ways that convince others that they are not a threat. They also rely on a lack of evidence to convict them and hope that witnesses will be reluctant to come forward. A Racine, Wisconsin woman successfully collected more than $25,000 in a child care fraud scheme before her cover was blown. Unfortunately for her, there was plenty of evidence and multiple witnesses who backed up the charges against her.

The Racine woman set up a fake child care center on paper, using the address where her uncle reportedly lived. She claimed that she operated the non-existent child care center, which was state funded, over a period of one-and-a-half years.

Today’s fraud article does not state what caused an investigation to be opened, but it wasn’t long before it was discovered there was no child care business operating at the address reported. (Perhaps that’s because many of the neighbors never saw any children coming or going.) More witnesses and neighbors reported that they only saw the alleged child care center operator at the address when she came to pick up the mail. (And, state funds amounting to $26,844.)

After surveillance was conducted and numerous attempts to talk to the purported child care business owner were unsuccessful, local police raided the address (much to the surprise of her uncle, I’m sure). However, it was probably not a surprise that no child care related items were found in the home (like toys, art supplies, Cheerios or apple juice boxes). Since their findings suggested that something was amiss, the next step was to interview the Racine, Wisconsin woman.

When questioned by investigators, the 30-year-old confessed that she “did not do day care.” In fact, she was in a hurry to lay it all out by requesting a piece of paper to write down her confession. (So much for laying low and trying not to stand out. It was at that point that she probably realized the evidence was too strong.) She also confessed that she had actually been working at a nursing home facility during the time she claimed to be operating the day care facility. (I wonder if she was thinking about running a fraud scheme at the nursing home too.)

The fraudster from Racine was charged with public assistance fraud and is facing up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000  When the judge hands down this woman’s punishment for running a child care fraud scheme that stole nearly $27,000 in state public assistance funds from vulnerable children, let’s hope that she gets slapped with more than just a timeout.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Racine woman accused of running fake daycare, defrauding state out of $27K,” posted on on September 12, 2018.

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) — A Racine woman is now charged after police say she received funds for a child care facility when she wasn’t operating one.

Tonia Canady is now charged with Public Assistance- Fraud/Get Benefits.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.