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Owner of child care centers in Lincoln and Omaha ordered to pay restitution for theft of funds

Owner of child care centers in Lincoln and Omaha ordered to pay restitution for theft of funds

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A 41-year-old Omaha woman has been sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay restitution for theft of government money through child care centers she owned in Omaha and Lincoln.

Senior U.S. District Judge Richard G. Kopf sentenced Mubanga Chongo-Ofafa on Friday to three years of probation and ordered her to pay $15,000 in restitution.

The Little Blessings business also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $158,099.

U.S. Attorney Joe Kelly said Chongo-Ofafa owned the two child care centers and had contracts with the State of Nebraska to receive reimbursement payments through a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services program for child care expenses for eligible children.

For a year starting in December 2015, Chongo-Ofafa submitted false claims for more than $157,000, inflating the number of children and the hours the children attended the centers in order to receive payments through the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program, Kelly said.

This case was investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security.

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