If Only

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Today ‘s fraudster has a case of the “if only ‘s.” If only she hadn’t lied about her living situation, she wouldn’t be in trouble with the law, again. If only she hadn’t left a folder containing information about her fraudulent scheme in plain view, her partner wouldn’t have turned her in. If only she hadn’t been caught, she wouldn’t be serving time. (I imagine many fraudsters suffer from the same type of entitlement complex where they think the federal government should pay for their expenses.)

A woman, who received food stamps and Medicaid benefits totaling more than $8,000, got into trouble when the father of her children noticed a folder in his house containing paperwork indicating she was receiving welfare benefits. (She was reporting to welfare case workers that she was paying $800 of rent per month at a different address, but she was actually living rent free with the father of her children.)

The man reported the woman ‘s fraudulent acts to authorities and explained that he had been supporting her and her children for about eight years, stating that they resided with him, and not the address she had reported. (Obviously, she inaccurately reported her location because if she had been honest, she would not have qualified for government assistance.)

Well, that ‘s not all she failed to report. She left out that she also received income by working at a business that was owned and operated by the father of her children. And this is a doozy ,she failed to report she had two previous felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance. (Those omissions would have also rendered her ineligible to receive government assistance.)

The 40-year-old woman was sentenced for welfare fraud and must serve one year in prison to be followed by one year of probation. If only this woman had been honest about her situation, she wouldn’t be in the predicament she is in today. (If only there were more honest people like this woman ‘s partner, who recognize fraud when they see it, the world would be a better place.)

Source: Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Woman sentenced to prison for welfare fraud,” published by Journal & Courier on May 30, 2017.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. ‚Forty-year-old Heather Nicole Dispennett admitted last month she received food stamps and Medicaid benefits which she wasn’t entitled to, and on Friday, she received a one-year prison sentence for welfare fraud.

Tippecanoe Superior 2 Judge Steve Meyer sentenced Dispennett to one year in prison and one year on probation.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.