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Mothers arrested in raids over allegedly fraudulent family day-care scheme

Mr Farmann was one of 17 people charged in May over their role in operating the fake home family day-care business in arrests that police described as “the tip of the iceberg”.

Now investigators have turned their sights to the parents who allegedly helped to make it happen.

Strike Force Mercury was launched in July last year by the Financial Crimes and Organised Crime Squads to investigate Red Roses Family Day Care, which has since been shut down.

Alee Farmann, who is the alleged mastermind of the Red Roses Family Day Care fraud.

Alee Farmann, who is the alleged mastermind of the Red Roses Family Day Care fraud.Credit:Janie Barrett

Police allege the business created false timesheets and rostering, mock children’s play areas and advertised photographs of children who were never in care to fraudulently claim for Commonwealth benefits under a childcare subsidy scheme.

Under the scheme, a subsidy is paid directly to home day-care providers to be passed on to families as a fee reduction. Families then make a co-contribution to their fees by paying the provider the difference between the fee charged and the subsidy amount.

In the Red Roses Family Day Care network, parents operating fake home day-care centres would provide their own children’s identities to be lodged on the books of another facility and vice-versa, despite none of their children ever being cared for by the other.

Subsidy payments were then paid back to the business, to be filtered down through the syndicate.

Nahida Safar is one of many parents who allegedly provided their children's identities to the fraud syndicate.

Nahida Safar is one of many parents who allegedly provided their children’s identities to the fraud syndicate.Credit:Janie Barrett

It is alleged one property that claimed to be caring for 50 children at a time was in fact a small garage that was without electricity for 22 days in February.

More than 35 people have been arrested and charged over the operation.

Mr Farmann was the registered director of Red Roses Family Day Care and the alleged mastermind of the fraud, enjoying a take-home salary of about $30,000 a fortnight. It is alleged he used the money to purchase luxury cars and real estate across Sydney.

In May, he was charged with directing a criminal group. He is on bail and is yet to enter a plea. He will next appear at Liverpool Local Court on September 30.

The Red Roses Family Day Care office in Fairfield.

The Red Roses Family Day Care office in Fairfield.Credit:Brook Mitchell

On Tuesday, he attended Bankstown police station where his wife was taken following her arrest at their $1.5 million Georges Hall home. She was also charged with directing a criminal group.

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Another six women were arrested and charged with participating in a criminal group. They included Nahida Safar, 35, and Mariam Farhat, 32. Both allegedly provided their children’s identities to the syndicate.

All were released on conditional bail and are scheduled to appear at Liverpool Local Court on September 30.

In May, acting State Crime Commander Stuart Smith said the syndicate was “elaborate”, with systems designed “to defeat [departmental] audits … both phone and physical audits”.

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