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Pahoa woman sentenced for child care subsidy fraud

MEDIA RELEASE

Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Y. Iboshi has announced:

On March 5, 2012, Third Circuit Court Judge Greg K. Nakamura granted the request by Pahoa resident Sharon Dupree, 31, to defer her no contest plea to one count of theft in the second degree and sentenced her to five years of supervision for that offense.

As conditions of her supervision, she was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,400.00 to the Department of Human Services and to serve one year in jail with all of the jail time taken under advisement, meaning she will not have to serve jail time if she fully complies with the conditions of supervision.

If Dupree complies with all of the terms and conditions of her deferral including paying restitution, at the end of five years, her case will be dismissed and she will not have a permanent criminal record.

Investigation by a special investigator for the Department of Human Services revealed that in 2009 Dupree fraudulently obtained $3,400 in child care subsidy payments by submitting documents falsely stating that she was making child care payments and continued to be eligible for child care subsidies from the Department of Human Services.

Child care subsidies from the Department of Human Services help low-income families to sustain their employment, educational efforts, and job training by paying a subsidy for their children’s care by DHS-approved child care providers. There are income and activity requirements for eligibility in this program.

Child care subsidy fraud takes many forms including concealing true income and assets in order to qualify for the program, falsely representing children in the home eligible for the program when the children are in fact living elsewhere, reporting someone as a child care provider when in fact that person is not providing child care services at all, and falsely claiming to have paid for child care services when no payments were made.

Individuals who are caught committing child care subsidy fraud in Hawaii are prosecuted for theft.

Theft in the second degree is a class “C” felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Every year, millions of dollars in fraud are investigated and stopped by anonymous tips from the public.

If you have information concerning possible welfare fraud in Hawaii County, call the welfare fraud hotline at (808) 933-8899.

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