Skip to main content

Minneapolis child care center raided in billing fraud investigation

The Chicago Avenue center was the subject of a recent search warrant.

A south Minneapolis child care center was raided by state law enforcement authorities on Wednesday over allegations of fraud.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) told BMTN that it executed a search warrant at the Baraka Child Care Center on Chicago Avenue, amid accusations of financial misconduct "related to the center’s billing for the Child Care Assistance Program." 

It comes a month after a FOX 9 report that stated 10 daycare centers in Minnesota are under investigation for potential fraud.

Over the past four years, the DHS closed a dozen child care centers, recouped $4.6 million fraudulently obtained in child care assistance fraud and secured six convictions.

It follows instances in which daycare centers enroll low-income children and claim funding for them from the state, even though they are not really providing care for them.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are involved in the Baraka Child Care Center investigation.

The center has been operating since June 2011, according to its Facebook page. State records show that in the past three years, it has been issued three correction or fine orders, all for not getting the required background documentation for employees.

"DHS continues to aggressively pursue and investigate fraud in the Child Care Assistance Program," DHS Inspector General Carolyn Ham said.

Today's Top Stories

– Mother hit by car in St. Paul dies 9 months later.

– Stormy Father's Day weekend with flooding, severe threats expected.

– Sign up for our daily newsletters.

"Child care fraud is especially egregious because in addition to exploiting taxpayer money, it harms the families and children the program is intended to help.

"The Office of Inspector General, which DHS established in 2011 to increase our focus on fraud prevention and investigation, will continue to partner with other agencies, including law enforcement, in this investigation.

"We are also working to expand our fraud efforts, adding investigators and increasing our use of technology to detect and prevent fraud in state benefits."

The FOX 9 report raised the possibility that some of the money defrauded from child care assistance funds may be going to regions with known terror links, though Ham recently told a Senate panel that it has no specific evidence that this is happening, as the Pioneer Press reported.

BMTN has attempted to contact the Baraka Child Care Center, but has not had any response.

Next Up

Williams Uptown Pub

Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar closes indefinitely after shooting

Reports say police have arrested two suspects in the incident.

Alex Rodríguez

A-Rod wears a Packers hat, Minnesotans lose their minds

The Timberwolves co-owner didn't endear himself to his fan base on Saturday night.

Flickr - Minneapolis police squad - Chad Davis

Police: Man shoots into crowd at funeral reception in Minneapolis

The shooting happened at a reception following a funeral on Saturday afternoon.

Screen Shot 2022-01-23 at 8.37.27 AM

Watch: Jimmy Garoppolo says 'F*** the Packers' after playoff win

The 49ers quarterback congratulated Robbie Gould in spectacular fashion.

Aaron Rodgers

America dunks on Aaron Rodgers after loss to 49ers

The Packers quarterback was destroyed on social media on Saturday night.

Marcus Foligno

Foligno's OT winner gives Wild fans a happy Hockey Day

A slow start gave way to the Wild's fifth win in the past six games.


Winter weather advisory issued as Saturday snow arrives

Not huge totals expected, but any snow will likely impact travel.


Report: Ryan Poles is Vikings' 'top choice' for general manager

Poles was one of two finalists revealed on Friday.

Payton Willis

Willis carries shorthanded Gophers to beat Rutgers

The senior scored a career-high 32 points to end a four-game losing streak.


Charges: St. Paul man had sexual contact 'multiple times' with 12-year-old girl

Marcus Steichen, 21, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct.


Investigation finds 'weaknesses' in Minnesota child care fraud detection

The Office of the Legislative Auditor is calling for changes in the child care program.

Carolyn Ham DHS

DHS inspector general placed on leave days after child care fraud report

Carolyn Ham still holds her position, and claims she's being scapegoated.

Minneapolis police investigate attempted child luring

It happened on Sunday near the Edina border.

Cost of child care exceeds college tuition in Minn.

A new national report shows it costs more to place an infant in a Minnesota day care center than a year of state college tuition, the Star Tribune reports. The advocacy group Child Aware of America names Minnesota the nation's second costliest state for center-based day care. The newspaper writes one year of infant care in a center cost $13,579 in Minnesota, while one year for a preschooler cost $10,470. In 17 states, a year of infant care cost less than $8,000.

Investigation: Sex abusers in Minn. child-care facilities often other children

A new investigation by the Star Tribune finds out of the 65 child sex abuse cases in Minnesota child-care facilities since 2007, most of the abuse was committed by older children in the day-care or by a son of the day-care provider, and not by the adult.