Owners and East St. Louis Day Care Center Sentenced in Fraud Schemes
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 19, 2010|
A. Courtney Cox, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on March 18, 2010, MONICA M. OWENS, age 40, ROBBY L. OWENS, age 40, both of Clayton, Missouri, and formerly of Fairview Heights, Illinois, and GREAT KIDS, INC., an East St. Louis Day Care Center, were sentenced on various fraud charges in United States District Court in East St. Louis.
Documents filed as public record with the court, indicate that MONICA and ROBBY OWENS are a married couple, who solely owned and operated GREAT KIDS, INC. The couple controlled all the business accounts. The couple also received all profits earned through GREAT KIDS INC. MONICA and ROBBY OWENS, however, attempted to evade or defeat the assessment of income taxes and failed to file for the year of 2005 by failing to file a return and failing to pay the IRS in income taxes. MONICA OWENS and GREAT KIDS, INC. further obtained payments by fraud by submitting false child care claims to the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), claims for child care of children who did not attend or were not present in the child care center. MONICA OWENS also falsely applied for food stamp benefits by denying that she was receiving a monthly household income from employment.
All defendants pled guilty to the charges on September 18, 2009.
MONICA OWENS was sentenced for tax evasion, theft of federal program funds, and food stamp benefit fraud. The court ordered her to serve 25 months of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, pay criminal restitution to the IRS and DHS, and a special assessment of $300.00.
ROBBY L. OWENS was sentenced on his conviction of tax evasion. The court ordered him to serve 25 months of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, pay criminal restitution to the IRS and DHS, and pay a special assessment of $100.00.
GREAT KIDS, INC. was sentenced on its conviction for theft of federal program funds. The court placed the corporation on a term of five years of probation and ordered it to pay criminal restitution to the DHS.
The total court ordered restitution ordered paid to government program victims was: (1) $203,057.86 to DHS; and (2) $249,197.00 to IRS.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General - Investigations; the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Office of Inspector General, Bureau of Investigations; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Southern Illinois Bankruptcy Fraud Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Liam Coonan.
If you suspect or know of an individual or company that is not complying with the tax laws, you may report this activity to the local Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation office or by mailing the information to the following office: Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, CA 93888.
If you suspect or know of an individual or company that is not complying with healthcare laws or public aid programs, you may report this activity to the local office of the U.S. Department of Health Human Services, Office of Inspector General or call 1.800.447.8477.