Home day care netted $329,000 in fraudulent funds

BY Oregon US Attorney,
Oregon District Press Release,

The owner of a Roseburg, Oregon in-home daycare facility pleaded guilty today in federal court for stealing federal childcare funds.

Katie Jo Thompson, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds.

According to court documents, Thompson cared for her disabled child while also operating a licensed childcare business out of her Roseburg residence. Thompson applied for various federal benefit programs administered by the Special Security Administration (SSA) on her child’s behalf. In these applications, Thompson misrepresented her household income, prompting an SSA investigation.

The investigation revealed that Thompson had applied for and received federal Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program funds administered by the Oregon Department of Human Services (Oregon DHS) to support her business. The ERDC program requires that childcare program operators maintain attendance logs for one year. When SSA investigators obtained these logs from Thompson, they showed that Thompson had misrepresented the number of children in her daycare facility resulting in ERDC payments for childcare not provided. Thompson further claimed children were present in the facility who had never attended.

Thompson also used individuals hired to care for daughter who were funded by Medicaid’s Personal Support Worker program to work in her daycare facility thereby allowing Thompson to forgo paying daycare employees herself.

Between January 2018 and December 2019, Thompson fraudulently received and converted to personal use more than $329,000 in federal assistance funds provided by SSA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

On April 20, 2022, Thompson was charged by criminal information with one count of theft of government funds.

Thompson faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years’ supervised release. She will be sentenced on November 14, 2022, by U.S. District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken.

As part of her plea agreement, Thompson will pay restitution to the agencies she defrauded.

This case was investigated by the SSA Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG) with assistance from Oregon DHS. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Sowray is prosecuting the case.

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