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Sydney mothers arrested for alleged $4 million childcare fraud

(Images: NSW Police)

NSW Police have arrested 16 women through raids in Sydney on Thursday morning, as investigations continue into a criminal group that allegedly operated fake childcare centres.

The syndicate was busted back in May for reportedly receiving $4 million from taxpayers in government grants through allegedly running childcare centres that in reality had no children in attendance.

While the accused ringleaders have previously been charged, Thursday morning's raids reportedly focused on mothers that aided the group by handing over their children's details to be used for fake enrolment records.

Yahoo Finance understands seven of the 16 women have been charged.

A 41-year-old was charged with knowingly directing the activities of a criminal group, while the other six were charged with participating in the syndicate.

A 24-year-old man was also ordered to face court for allegedly participating in the scam.

All were granted bail to face Liverpool Local Court on September 30.

A day care centre with no children

NSW Police formed Strike Force Mercury in July last year to investigate the now-closed Red Roses Family Day Care centre in Fairfield.

The centre is alleged to have hosted no children in real life but created fake enrolment records, employee timesheets and even play areas – all to claim federal government subsidies.

The Commonwealth pays grants directly to child care centres on behalf of families, so fees can be reduced for parents.

Fairfax Media reported one property that supposedly cared for 50 children was alleged to be a small car garage that had no electricity for 22 days earlier this year.

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