A Flatbush daycare operator, identified as Owen Larman, has been convicted of stealing $50,000 from the New York City Administration for Children’s Services by falsifying and submitting forms to receive City funds and billing children that did not actually attend his centers.
Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez stated on May 5, “This defendant stole from the City, falsified documents and bribed a public employee – all inexcusable criminal acts under any circumstances. But in this case, the defendant not only broke the law to line his pockets – he did so while entrusted with the care and well-being of dozens of young children.”
According to reports, Larman opened three daycare centers in Brooklyn under the name Next to Home between 2007 and 2011. The centers, serving infants, toddlers and school-age children, were primarily paid through ACS vouchers given to families to cover the cost of childcare services. Between June 2012 and April 2013, the defendant stole approximately $51,667 in voucher funds from ACS.
In August 2011, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) found that one of the defendant’s centers, located at 1159 Flatbush Avenue, was grossly overcrowded with inadequate staff to supervise the children. Instead of the permitted seven children of school age, more than 78 children were on the premise of the afterschool center.
Larman also applied for a permit for Next to Home to open a new center at 5566 Kings Highway in East Flatbush in October 2011. While he received a permit for a center servicing up to 80 school-age children, the property owner never issued him a lease. Larman, between June 2012 to April 2013, claimed funds for children who never attended the nonexistent daycare center.
Larman will be sentenced on May 31, 2017, and faces up to 15 years in prison.