The last of three Minneapolis child care centers charged with fraudulent billing of a state taxpayer-supported program pleaded guilty this week.

Ummah Child Care Services Inc., of 2505 5th Av. S., pleaded guilty as a corporation Tuesday to theft by swindle, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Wednesday. The company was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay $37,000 in restitution to the state’s Child Care Assistance Program.

In October, Children’s Choice Center Inc., of 2700 Summer St. NE., pleaded guilty and agreed to a $10,000 fine and $28,267 in restitution. And in November, Minnesota Child Care Service Inc., of 2500 Minnehaha Av., pleaded guilty and agreed to a $50,000 fine and $103,000 in restitution.

As part of a negotiated settlement, the billers for all three centers agreed to sign disqualification agreements barring them from working with state-licensed child care providers for two years. In return, the county attorney’s office agreed not to charge them criminally.

The investigation began in 2013 when authorities noticed unusually large billings to the Child Care Assistance Program.

STAFF REPORT