Kansas City daycare owner’s federal arrest disappoints child’s grandmother

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- "Man, I drove up there on Wednesday morning and all I wanted to do was drop off my 2-year-old grandson, " said a frustrated Flora Stevenson.

On Wednesday morning the Grandview grandmother pulled up outside the Guidance Child Care Center near East Bannister and James A. Reed Road only to see yellow crime scene tape around the fence and plenty of cops.

"Yes, those police officers were everywhere, I couldn't believe it! I initially thought a child might have gotten hurt ," said Stevenson.

However, all of the children inside were safe. Stevenson soon learned federal investigators temporarily closed the daycare and searched the business for any possible evidence linked to the arrest of its owner, 47-year-old Hauwa Al-Hassan. As part of a nationwide bust, federal agents arrested Al-Hassan at her home in Raymore.

Federal prosecutors later announced that Al-Hassan would be charged with theft of government property. Investigators say between June of 2011 and last month Al-Hassan faked attendance numbers at her daycare to steal money from the government. They say the suspect specifically reported more hours of care and more children than actually attended the daycare so that she could receive more state subsidy dollars. Investigators say based on childcare claims at least $100,000 were fraudulently billed from the daycare.

What's more, authorities say Al-Hassan traveled to her native land of Nigeria and Somalia to teach people there how to mastermind similar fraudulent schemes.

"I don't understand people's circumstances or their issues. I can honestly say the people who work there were good to my grandson, but after four months I will now pull my grandson out of there and find him a new daycare, " adds Flora Stevenson.

Thursday FOX 4 News learned Hauwa Al-Hassan got out of jail and is now free on a $25,000 unsecured bond. Her trial has been set to begin on August 15th, but prosecutors expect it to actually be postponed.

"I just think if she did the crime, like anything else, she must do the time," said Flora Stevenson.

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