A Council Bluffs child care center has been shut down and investigators say that Sharon Troff, the woman who had been operating the center, has left a long trail of theft and deception involving tens of thousands of dollars.
When Karen Green heard about a Montessori child care center opening in Council Bluffs it sounded like a perfect fit for her three-year-old son Ryan. She even toured the well-kept house at 31st Street and 4th Avenue.
Karen says, "It was a very, very nice place."
Green says the owner told an elaborate story of having a decade of experience and she provided literature and references.
Then, shortly after paying a $75 deposit, Green got word the operation was shut down and owner Sharon Troff had been arrested on six counts of child endangerment for allegedly leaving some children unattended. The state says Troff never had a license to run the center.
Ms. Green says, "It was awful. I felt sick to my stomach and started crying."
In addition to this case, investigators believe that Sharon Troff stole approximately $50,000 from a dental office at 157th and Harrison where she worked as an account clerk.
She's accused of depositing insurance payments into her own personal account. There were approximately 200 checks over six months.
Investigators say Troff even went so far as to turn in a $4,000 insurance claim to her boyfriend's insurance company for work that was never done. Once again they say she simply deposited the check into her own personal account.
Sarpy County Sheriff's Department Sergeant Don Voss There's such a tremendous paper trail. Everything she did, every deposit she made is on paper. All the deposits she made at the ATM were on video camera. So if she thought she'd never get caught she was rudely mistaken."
As for the child endangerment charges, the Pottawattamie County Attorney tells us that some parents became suspicious about the child care center. They claim to have seen the children being left alone in the front yard for 10 to 15 minutes. At one point, a two or three-year-old child nearly walked into the street.
We tried to contact Sharon Troff but our messages were not returned.