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Officials team with law enforcement to fight fraud in Wisconsin Shares

Wisconsin officials will team up with law enforcement to fight fraud in the state's child care program for the working poor.

A task force will be announced Friday to go after those bilking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Wisconsin Shares program.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has spent most of the year showing how easy it is for child care providers, parents and others to scam the program.

Last weekend, the paper told how one Milwaukee provider got $3 million from it, and built a mansion while the state ignored proof that she was bilking the system.

Officials have not said how the task force will operate. It will be led by the Milwaukee County district attorney's office, with members from local and state law enforcement and the state Department of Children and Families.

And federal officials say they'll help with investigations and prosecutions. Children and Families secretary Reggie Bicha said his agency has taken bold actions to find and recover fraudulent state payments in Wisconsin Shares, and the law enforcement task force will be the next major effort to stop fraud.

A Milwaukee woman was recently sentenced to five years in prison for defrauding hundreds of thousands from the program and an Eau Claire County provider has agreed to probation and restitution for doing the same.