Three Sheepshead Bay child care operators were sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court yesterday in a bribery scheme where they attempted to pay off government officials $100,000 to perpetrate a fraud against the city’s Day Care Subsidy Program.
We first reported on the arrest of a group of childcare operators and city officials back in August of 2010. The child care operators had netted $18 million for 38 day care centers since 2007 by bribing seven city officials to help them abuse the Day Care Subsidy Program, a system that helps low-income families receive day care for their children.
A press release detailed how the scam worked:
[Liudmila] UMAROV, [Ella] SCHVARZMAN, and [Rimma] VOLOVNICK are each former child day care center owners in Brooklyn, New York, who collectively paid more than $100,000 in bribes to City officials to help the three defendants steal from the Day Care Subsidy Program. Each of the defendants admitted to paying bribes to officials in exchange for, among other things, providing identification information of children that were eligible for the Day Care Subsidy Program but did not attend day care. This identification information was used by the defendants to seek reimbursement from the City for providing day care services to those children, even though those children did not in fact attend day care. Each of the defendants also admitted to paying bribes to officials in return for those officials overlooking health code violations at their day care centers.
Umarov, Schvarzman, and Volonick each pleaded guilty to bribing government officials. Umarov and Schvarzman were sentenced to three years probation and Volonick was sentenced to two years. Umarov, 66, was ordered to pay $100,600 in fines, Schvarzman, 46, had to pay $25,400 in fines and Volonick, 57, was ordered to pay $25,500 in fines.