LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A Lake Charles woman has been ordered to pay restitution for filing false daycare service claims to a federal program.
According to a news release from U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley, 44-year-old Annette Victorian was ordered Thursday by U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi to pay $71,660.70 in restitution, a $1,000 fine, serve five years probation, and complete 100 hours of community service for defrauding the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.
Finley said Victorian is the owner/director of Annette's Developmental and Learning Center located in Lake Charles, which receives payments for child care services through the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).
Finley said prior to being paid by CCAP for child care services she provided, Victorian was required to submit accurate provider invoices for each child.
According to court documents, beginning in April 2007 and continuing through October 2009, Victorian submitted invoices which contained false and fraudulent information, inflating the number of children who received care and the hours the children were present.
Finley said in some instances, Victorian claimed reimbursement for children who were no longer enrolled at her day care center.
"The money this defendant took should have been used to help those in need of day care services," Finley said. "Instead, the money was siphoned out of the community and grant system for personal use. Our office will continue to aggressively prosecute those who defraud these programs."
CCAP is funded by a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' grant and is administered by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly P. Uebinger prosecuted the case.