Ex-Employee at Transitional Housing Facility Allegedly Defrauds the Mentally Ill


Just when you think people can’t sink any lower, news of a new scheme comes to light. According to KHON2.com, this one allegedly took place in Hawaii at the Haleulu Pono facility, a transitional home for nearly 70 mentally ill residents. The article reported that a resident of the home ”blew the whistle” on a supervisor, who had allegedly convinced the mentally ill residents to sell him their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards.

The article notes that SNAP benefit cards are in high demand in Hawaii? food-buying assistance has ”increased 81 percent since 2007, to more than 162,000 people at a cost of more than 400 million in federal funds.’? This type of fraud is common in the area – and the behavior isn’t limited to just facilities either. The article indicated that a ”quick Craigslist search in most states can find willing buyers quickly.” (Now why wouldn’t we catch and prosecute these guys for openly breaking the law? Public flogging would end this in a hurry.)

The suspected individual is no longer an employee with the housing development corporation that runs the facility.

The problems don’t end there for the housing development corporation. Since the organization is a state contractor, the matter has been referred to the state’s Department of Human Services (DHS) for investigation. DHS has ”referred more than 400 cases of suspected welfare fraud to the attorney general’s office in the past 5 years.” Plus…nearly 300 cases in the same time period have been dealt with administratively. (That is one welfare fraudster for every 2025 recipients. Seems a little low.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”State Investigating Claims of Welfare Fraud” by Gina Mangieri, published by KHON2.com, December 8, 2011.

The Haleulu Pono facility in Kalaeloa houses nearly 70 mentally ill residents who receive state financial assistance.

The transitional housing services are state-contracted through the operator steadfast housing development corporation.

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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.