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Owner of child care centers in Lincoln and Omaha ordered to pay restitution for theft of funds
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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 was sentenced to three years of probation Friday and ordered to pay restitution for theft of government money through child care centers she owned there and in Lincoln.

Senior U.S. District Judge Richard G. Kopf sentenced Mubanga Chongo-Ofafa 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 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child Care Development Fund 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, Office of Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations.

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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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