ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A parent is facing charges after investigators said she lied about her income to make it look like she was eligible for government-paid child care.
Pamela Goins is accused stealing $12,000 from the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County.
The agency provides day care assistance to needy families so parents have someone to watch their children while they work or go to school.
Officials with the agency said stealing from the program victimizes tax payers.
“They’re taking away the opportunity for families who are eligible to have their kids in care,” said Karen Willis.
Willis said in order to receive the assistance parents have to work 20 hours a week or be in school.
Clients have to provide proof of income and report any changes.
Officials said Goins falsified pay stubs and failed to report her income during a 2-year period.
“We have zero tolerance for any kind of misrepresentation of your financial situation,” Willis said. “We have more than 7,000 children on our wait list.”
Over the years the agency has seen greater need but no additional dollars in their budget.
In fact their funds have been cut.
Channel 9’s Myrt Price tried to track down Goins but no one answered at her home.
Officials said it’s frustrating when they discover someone getting the assistance that shouldn’t be.
"It’s is very upsetting because every day we have people calling us saying, ‘I really need help. Here is my income.’ They're eligible for the program but we have to say, ‘Sorry, we have to put your child on a waiting list.'"
Goins is expected to be in court next week.