Hitting the Jackpot

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‘Hitting the jackpot” usually refers to winning a large sum of money; however, it can also mean that a discovery has led to a lot of useful information. A story posted on Fox59.com details how a routine investigation into a suspected case of public housing fraud uncovered a bonanza of evidence linked to a murder case.

The story states that officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and agents of the Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General raided the apartment of a woman suspected of public housing fraud. The woman claimed that she was unable to take care of her family because the father of her children was in prison. (This would qualify her for public housing assistance if she did not have enough income to support her children.) She allegedly signed and submitted a false statement regarding child support payments.

Authorities say there was a bit of a problem with her claim because she had also signed another statement saying that the father of her children provided her with $400 a month. (It would be hard to earn $400 a month while in jail.) The story gets a bit more interesting from here.

While searching the woman’s apartment, investigators found evidence that linked her to a backyard cookout shooting where the father of her children allegedly killed a police officer. (That must have been quite a BBQ party.) In addition, agents uncovered a driver’s license and Social Security card that was reported stolen two years earlier. The story states that the woman had been previously arrested for multiple shoplifting attempts.

Investigators also paid a visit to the apartment of the woman’s mother. (Coincidentally, the police officer was shot and killed at the mother’s previous home.) It is alleged that the mother had also signed and submitted a false statement about child support compensation declaring that the father of her children was also in jail. (However, it was determined that there was no proof of imprisonment during the time claimed.) A separate background investigation revealed that the mother had many alias names and dates of birth plus 52 criminal arrests and 50+ police reports. (It looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

While the article notes that housing fraud charges are expected to be filed, they had not been by the date the article was printed. It is important to remember that the people involved in this case are innocent.

Even so, the article provides a cautionary tale for those who may think about lying on their public housing applications about their income. This type of fraud will not be tolerated. More importantly, we can only hope there will be some resolution in the murder of the police officer. Our hearts go out to his family and we thank him for his service.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Housing Fraud Probe Uncovers Links to Suspect in Police Officer’s Murder,” written by Russ McQuaid and posted on Fox59.com on November 10, 2014.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 10, 2014)– When Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers and agents of the HUD Office of the Inspector General raided Latosha Ruffin’s apartment last month, they expected to find evidence of public housing fraud.

What they found were links between Ruffin and her boyfriend, accused killer Major Davis II.

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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.