Foster Home Fraud: Woman Accused of Stealing Thousands from Olmsted County
The criminal complaint filed in Olmsted County Court on Tuesday says the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office took a report regarding the fraudulent billing in September. The alleged overbilling was detected by a financial review of the county’s relief care budget, which is used to provide long-term foster homes with financial assistance.
The financial review led to the discovery that 35-year-old Diona Marie Hargrett had been billing the county for the care of an 18-year-old woman, the complaint says. The program prohibits foster homes from billing the county for residents who are legal adults.
The court document says the woman Hargrett is accused of billing the county for turned 18 in November of 2022 and moved out of the home last December. The resident and Hargrett told investigators she had moved out in December of 2022.
A review of financial records alleges Hargrett billed the county for seven months of services after the woman moved out, racking up a bill of $15,131.68, the complaint says.
Hargrett admitted to billing the county for the young woman’s care after she left, saying she caused her "a lot of stress" and that she left her dresser behind when she moved out. Hargrett said she used the money obtained from the county for services she did not provide to pay her bills, according to the court document.
Hargrett is charged with a felony count of theft of services. She’s due to make her first appearance in the fraud case in January.
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