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EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — The owner of two Taekwondo studios has been ordered to pay the state hundreds of thousands of dollars for falsely claiming numerous children were enrolled at his daycare centers when they actually weren’t, according to Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha.

Keun Soo Han, 50, of East Greenwich, pleaded no contest to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses of over $1,500 earlier this month.

Neronha said Soo Han, the owner of US Taekwondo Center, misrepresented attendance records at his studios in Cranston and Providence between July 2018 and February 2020.

The inflated attendance records allowed Soo Han to fraudulently collect $422,000 from the state’s Child Care Assistance Program, also known as CCAP, according to Neronha.

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The fraudulent enrollments were discovered in June 2021, when a state audit uncovered substantial overpayments to the two Taekwondo studios.

Neronha said that, upon being notified that his enrollment logs were being scrutinized, Soo Han immediately collectively disenrolled 69 children from both of his Taekwondo studios.

The audit determined that the attendance records for 187 children at the Providence location and 164 at the Cranston location weren’t accurate, according to Neronha, and that Soo Han was fraudulently billing the state for child care services his business wasn’t providing.

Neronha said Soo Han’s employees told investigators he instructed them to mark children present even when they were absent, and to continue billing the CCAP even after a student disenrolled.

Soo Han received a three-year deferred sentence on top of being ordered to pay restitution.

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