How Low Can a Fraudster Go?


It’s bad enough when a fraudster scams one benefit program, but it takes a pretty devious mind to scam multiple programs all at the same time. An article in The Washington Times reports on a Florida woman who received more than $300,000 in government benefits that she was not qualified for and definitely didn’t deserve.

The article states that in 2003, the woman was able to obtain monthly checks from the Broward County Housing authority allowing her to live in not one, but two homes. (Anyone suspicious yet?) Apparently she qualified for assistance by lying about her marital status, bank accounts and ownership of multiple businesses. The couple received money for being both the landlord and tenant of the two homes they owned.

Meanwhile, the fraudster and her husband (Did I mention he was living in the U.S. illegally?) were living a luxurious lifestyle in one of their homes located on a one-acre manicured lot with a swimming pool, a Mercedes, a boat and a greenhouse. (Who knew criminals enjoyed gardening? Scamming the government is kind of like growing money on trees.) The article states that the couple was able to collect between $305,000 and $377,000 in food stamps (I guess she didn’t grow any vegetables), housing assistance and Medicaid benefits by using two Social Security numbers.

The woman was sentenced to more than four years in jail and was ordered to pay nearly $284,000 in restitution. The husband was sentenced to one day short of a year in jail and was ordered to pay $9,999 in restitution.

This woman stooped pretty low to take money that was allocated for the poor and disabled. She had the ability to provide for herself, but decided to scam honest taxpayers. She can say goodbye to her luxurious lifestyle and hello to a much more frugal existence in jail.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Fla Woman Sentenced in Government Fraud Case,” published in The Washington Times on April 11, 2014.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Authorities say a woman who collected more than $300,000 in government assistance has been sentenced to 51 months in prison.

During a hearing on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp said the conduct of Gloria Valle-Clas is ”about as low as it gets.” He also ordered her to $283,359 in restitution.

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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.