Republicans Call on Minnesota DHS to Hand Over Information About Child Care Fraud

Newly-appointed Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Tony Lourey is facing pressure from Republican legislators over the department’s failure to respond to several data requests seeking information on the state’s alleged child care fraud.

The fraud was first exposed in a May 2018 Fox 9 report, and has been a subject of concern for Minnesota Republicans ever since.

Investigative reporters found that up to $100 million in suitcases had left MSP bound for the Middle East. Experts suspected that some of the money was being transferred through Hawalas, the unofficial banking systems of some third-world countries, which are generally compelled to hand over a share of the profits to Al-Shabab.

The story resulted in a shock allegation from Republicans: Minnesota taxpayers, through widespread fraud in the state’s Child Care Assistance Program, are funding foreign terrorists.

The fraud scheme, according to Fox 9, generally included daycare centers across the state registering low-income families for their services so they could bill the state for a full day of care. In many cases, however, the children would never show up, while families in on the scam would receive shares of the profit.

Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) and former Rep. Matt Dean (R-Ely) have made four data requests with DHS over the last eight months, requesting department communications “that refer to terrorism, internal reviews of the Minnesota Family Investment Program Child Care Assistance Program produced in the wake of Fox 9 reports of fraud, and data and reports produced by an external organization (PFM Group) hired by DHS to investigate OIG’s [Office of Inspector General] own fraud investigators.”

The DHS hasn’t responded to any of the requests, according to a letter sent by Franson to Lourey Thursday.

“We are particularly concerned that DHS has willfully and unnecessarily withheld from the legislature data created by PFM group, for the purpose of later releasing it to rebut and discredit the OLA’s Special Review,” Franson writes in her letter.

“In each of the attached cases we have provided DHS with a reasonable deadline for providing the data. In each case we’ve also asked the department to contact us if this data cannot be supplied in the specified time period. And in each case the deadline has passed and we remain without the requested access, nor any timeline for the data’s delivery,” Franson continues.

She concludes by calling on the DHS to hand over the requested data by January 30, and, if it is unable to do so, to “provide us with an itemized timeline for delivery of data requested.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Tony Lourey” by Tony Lourey. Photo “Mary Franson” by Mary Franson. Background Photo “Minnesota Capital Chambers” by Cliff. CC BY 2.0. 







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11 Thoughts to “Republicans Call on Minnesota DHS to Hand Over Information About Child Care Fraud”

  1. Patrick Kick

    Whats missing from the story is the 14 Somalia run owned daycares shut down by the state who were in on the fraud. and the $850000.00 security fence put up around the elders of the Somalia’s and paid for by the tax payers of Minneapolis to protect the elders from their children and young adults. Yet Rep. Omar from Minnesota wants to defund America’s security to the country.

  2. Pbrandt

    Time to clean house at DHS!!! …YOU’RE FIRED!

  3. Lee frahm

    Something needs to be looked into
    VISA Credit CARDS
    Start with hospitals
    Minneapolis ATM’S

  4. Ginny

    We are so tired of all the fraud taking place in Minnesota. These immigrants come here and are given benefits that we the taxpayers have to pay for. And they think nothing of scamming our state to get what they want. Free housing, free food,free cell phones,free cars, free day care, free education, and they demand them as if we owe them.
    This day care fraud happened in St. Cloud and it was magically swept under the rug never to be heard about again. DHS needs to be accountable to the taxpayers.

  5. Tony

    Never to be seen…there will be unlikely cooperation with the present AG

  6. Jim

    Meanwhile, we have a dozen detectives and some FBI agents looking thru videos for more evidence of a potential assault that is becoming more and more questionable by the day…

  7. Dave

    Why are they covering it up?
    Maybe we should ask the FBI or Homeland security to intervene and investigate that way we could prosecute anyone who is helping cover it up .

  8. Lori

    It sickens me to know that anyone, but especially immigrants can come into this country and abuse and manipulate our government officials at taxpayers expense to the tune of hundreds of millions ! How does this happen ? And then everything goes hush ?? We the taxpayers of MN have a right to know whats going to be done about this !

  9. Dee Daniels-Boso

    Mary Frandson and Matt Dean, I am sure you would have a ton of people interested in how this could happen, what mistakes were made and corrections made that this will never happen and people whom did this fraud are criminally charged, so a standing deterrant is made and this never ever happens again, between food stamp and child care, I am sure millions and millions have been abused and the tax payer is tired of paying for this when they cannot even put food on their tables hardly….I for one…..Keep fighting we are behind your actions….

    1. Kim

      Please make sure to report the follow up on this case.

    2. Wilbur Bushman

      Nothing is going to happen, that’s the reason Keith Ellison gave up a Congressional seat to be Attorney General!