East Greenwich businessman to pay $422K for violating child care assistance program

PROVIDENCE – An East Greenwich business owner has been ordered to pay $422,000 in restitution for defrauding the state’s child care assistance program, Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced Friday. 

Superior Court Magistrate Patrick T. Burke sentenced Keun Soo Han on Friday to a three-year deferred sentence and ordered the restitution payment after Han pleaded no contest to falsely claiming certain children were enrolled at his day care centers and billing the state for nonexistent enrollments. 

The state was prepared to prove that from July 2018 to February 2020, the defendant intentionally misrepresented attendance records at two locations of the US Taekwondo Center Inc. to fraudulently collect $422,000 in benefits from the Rhode Island child care assistance program. 

On Dec. 7, 2019, the R.I. Department of Human Services’ Office of Child Care notified Soo Han that enrollment logs at both his Elmwood and Branch Avenue locations in Providence were under review. On that day, 33 children were disenrolled from the Elmwood center while 36 were disenrolled from the Branch Avenue site.  

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In June 2021, the R.I. Department of Administration’s Office of Internal Audits, prompted by a referral from the DHS, allegedly uncovered fraudulent overpayments to the US Taekwondo Center between January 2019 and March 2020. The DHS referral claimed that a specific child was enrolled at the center while simultaneously being enrolled at a separate learning center from July 2019 to December 2019. 

The state also determined that attendance records for 187 children at the Elmwood location and 164 children at the Branch Avenue location were misrepresented, and the company was billing DHS for child care services for children the company claimed were present but were not attending the center. 

Former employees of the defendant also told investigators they were told to mark absent children as present and to continue billing the child care assistance program for students who were no longer enrolled at the US Taekwondo Center.