Former Brooklyn Daycare Owner Arrested for Stealing More than $70,000 Worth of Medicaid Benefits
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that the former owner of a Brooklyn day care center was arrested Monday for allegedly stealing more than $70,000 worth of Medicaid benefits and failing to pay more $36,000 in taxes. The defendant’s husband is also accused of failing to pay taxes.
Yvette Diaz-Juarez, 49, of East Meadow, was arraigned yesterday before Judge Eileen Goggin and charged with Welfare Fraud in the Second-Degree (a C felony) and one count Grand Larceny in the Second-Degree a (C felony) and Personal Income and Earnings Taxes; Repeated Failure to File (an E Felony). The defendant was conditionally released to probation and is due back in court on November 28. If convicted, she faces a maximum of three to 15 years in prison.
Carlos Juarez, 49, of East Meadow, was arraigned yesterday before Judge Eileen Goggin and charged with Personal Income and Earnings Taxes; Repeated Failure to File (an E Felony). The defendant was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court on November 28. If convicted, he faces a maximum of two to four years in prison.
“As these defendants earned a comfortable income from their Brooklyn daycare business, they allegedly defrauded the taxpayers by claiming public assistance to which they were not entitled,” DA Singas said. “Medicaid funds lifesaving medical care for those in need, and we have no tolerance for anyone who steals undeserved benefits from government programs that provide a safety net.”
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, “My administration is 100 percent committed to preventing the unlawful use of assistance resources and recovering every taxpayer dollar lost through fraud and abuse. While more than 99 percent of public assistance recipients provide true and accurate financial and employment information, there are still those who try to cheat the system and steal money from those who are eligible for help. We want to ensure that all eligible recipients receive the benefits they need and will continue to support the important work of District Attorney Singas and her office.”
DA Singas said Yvette Diaz-Juarez, the former co-owner of Raindrops Daycare in Park Slope, allegedly stole $72,046.29 in Medicaid payments from the Nassau County Department of Social Services from June 2009 to December 2015 by falsely filing recertification forms and documentation where she knowingly underreported her household income.
During the fraud period, her yearly gross income ranged between $47,463.00 to $234,671.00, amounts that made her ineligible for benefits. Because of these alleged false filings, NCDSS paid $72,046.29 in benefits to which the defendant was not entitled.
Additionally, Diaz-Juarez and her husband/co-owner of Raindrops Daycare in Park Slope, Carlos Juarez, allegedly failed to file personal income taxes for three consecutive tax years between 2011 through 2013 and failed to pay the approximately $36,000 in taxes owed on their household income of more than $600,000.
Following an investigation, the Nassau County Department of Social Services referred the case to the NCDA in December 2017 for prosecution. The defendants surrendered to NCDA investigators on November 12.
The defendants are accused of spending the money on daily expenses such as their mortgage, car payment and trips to Las Vegas and Florida.
Senior Assistant District Attorney April Montgomery of DA Singas’ Financial Crimes Bureau is prosecuting this case. The defendants were represented by the Legal Aid Society at arraignment.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.