A 33-year-old woman whose license to operate a day care program was revoked fraudulently used another woman’s identity and license to run a day care program in her apartment for approximately one year, according to the city Department of Investigation (DOI).
Desiree Carpio had once been licensed as a day care operator, but her license was suspended and revoked in December 2009 after two children suffered injuries, including a broken leg, when she left them in the care of her boyfriend.
The boyfriend went to prison for felony assault in that case.
As a result of the current investigation, Carpio’s day care program was shut down last month, and Carpio was arrested on Tuesday by DOI investigators.
DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said, “The care and safety of children in our City is paramount. An individual who evades day care regulations through fraud puts children at risk and will face criminal prosecution.”
This investigation began in August 2012 after a city marshal notified DOI that she had been asked to schedule a court-ordered eviction of Carpio at an apartment on West 175th Street in the Bronx that housed a children’s day care program. (City marshals notify DOI and take precautions before conducting any eviction involving a children’s day care program.)
An employee of the city Department of Health found that Carpio was not the licensed day care operator at the apartment and that Carpio’s previous license, at a different address, had been revoked three years earlier.
The employee immediately contacted the day care operator, who identified herself as “Karina Lopez,” the licensee, and said that Carpio no longer resided in the apartment.
On Friday, August 10, a Department of Health inspector visited the apartment to ensure that “Lopez” would not have children present if the eviction went forward. The inspector asked the person claiming to be Lopez, later identified as Carpio, for identification and the apartment lease, but was told they were not available.
The inspector conducted contacted building management, and determined that Carpio was actually operating the day care. The following day Department of Health directed, Carpio to cease operation and the New York State Office of Children and Family
Services suspended Lopez’s license.
When Carpio’s scheme was uncovered, 10 children were enrolled in the day care program at the West 175th Street location. The children ranged in age from infancy to nearly five years old.