Minnesota: Somali-Owned Daycare Centers Investigated for $100-Million Fraud

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Daycare centers in Minnesota, mostly owned by Somalis, received millions in government subsidies intended to assist low-income families with childcare expenses, but the money was shipped on airline flights in suitcases to the Middle East. A portion likely was sent to fund terrorist organizations in Somalia. Minnesota state government estimates that the scam is costing taxpayers $100 million a year. -GEG

Minnesota lawmakers are scheduling a hearing for Tuesday after the Fox 9 Investigators exposed daycare fraud that could be costing taxpayers millions of dollars and some of that money could be making its way to terrorists overseas.

Carry-on suitcases filled with as much as a million dollars in cash are regularly leaving on flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to the Middle East. Last year alone, government agents determined the money transfers amounted to over a $100 million. They believe a sizeable amount is coming from fraud in the state’s childcare assistance program, which offers government subsidies to low-income families.

At least 10 daycare centers are currently under active investigation for overbilling the state. Most of those centers are owned by Somali immigrants. Members of the community told Fox 9 that the fraud is widespread. It’s believed some of the funds are being sent in the form of remittance payments to relatives in their homeland. Investigators also believe terrorist groups are demanding a cut of the money when it arrives overseas.

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