A Place Like Home

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10418214 - small house and piggy bank with stacks of hundred dollar bills isolated on a white background.

I find a bit of truth in the statement? ”There is no place like home.’? There is an inherent sense of comfort associated with your home; whether it’s the familiar smell or just a comfy couch. For some, the idea of home is broken; it’s a dream of what they wish to have. According to a JCOnline.com article, one Indiana woman lied about her home situation, seeking a little assistance where it wasn’t due.

Everyone’s idea of a ”home” is different; perhaps you remember your mother’s house as your ideal ”home,” or maybe something place else springs to mind. Fraudsters look at the concept of home a bit differently – as yet another way to defraud the government. (It’s ok – how will anyone every really find out?) A 29-year old Indiana resident with three kids found herself with an opportunity to lie for a little extra cash. (Is it moral to take the opportunity just because it’s there?)

Indiana is making efforts to crack down on welfare fraud. As part of those efforts, investigators discovered a young woman who lied about her household income and composition to obtain welfare assistance. She pleaded guilty in February to welfare fraud, a class D felony. (Ok, so what’s the damage?) Court records reveal she received $10,180 between 2009 and 2011 through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, by claiming the three children’s father was unemployed and did not live in the house with them. (It’s ok – the government doesn’t really care, right?) Court documents say the father was employed and resided full-time with the mother and children. In addition, the investigation discovered he was a convicted felon, which automatically makes him ineligible for benefits. The woman will serve two years of community correction in addition to her restitution payment. (That’s it? They lied about his criminal record, his employment and his living situation and she only gets two years of community correction.)

”There’s no place like home in jail,” said no one, ever. I am willing to bet this young fraudster thought her home was invincible, as she was defrauding the government of benefits she didn’t deserve. In the face of court and jail, she should be thankful for the home she and her felon husband have.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Woman Ordered to Pay $10K Restitution to Welfare Fraud,” published by the JCOnline.com on April 18, 2013.

A former West Lafayette woman will serve two years on community corrections and must pay $10,180 in restitution to the government for lying about her household’s income and composition to obtain public assistance.

Toshawa Shoup, 29, now of Frankfort, pleaded guilty in February in Tippecanoe Superior Court 2 to welfare fraud, a Class D felony.

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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.