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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Home Daycare Provider Pleads Guilty In $250,000 Fraud Case

U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle will decide whether to approve a settlement requiring the state to establish programs to keep the mentally ill out of jail.
U.S. District Court
U.S. District Court
File photo of the U.S. Courthouse in Seattle

A Washington daycare provider has pleaded guilty to defrauding the Working Connections Child Care program to the tune of $250,000. The plea was entered Thursday in federal court in Seattle.

The state cracked down on these cases five years ago and this is the biggest one yet.

Working Connections is a $300 million a year subsidized childcare program for low-income working families. It’s funded by a combination of state and federal dollars.

According to the plea agreement, Hindia Yusuf ran a home daycare in Covington, Washington, since 2005. During much of this time she claimed to be caring for 24 children each day split between two 12-hour shifts. Yusuf has admitted that between 2012 and 2014, she submitted false reimbursement reports to Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services totaling an estimated $250,000.

According to court documents, Yusuf falsified daily log in sheets, forged parent signatures and at times billed “when she actually provided no childcare.” She faces 12 to 18 months in prison and has agreed to pay back the $250,000.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."