Benefits Gone in a SNAP

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On the checkout line.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides government benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency. Individuals must qualify to receive these benefits, so it’s particularly egregious that an economic support specialist with the Milwaukee County Enrollment Services abused her position and robbed SNAP and other beneficiaries of nearly $50,000.

Nicole Doxtator, 30, from Milwaukee, Wis., was sentenced to two years and one day in federal prison due to her involvement in the ruse that occurred over approximately three years. Doxtator had access to 13 closed files of former SNAP recipients. Instead of guarding these files like her job required her to do, Doxtator and co-defendant Granville Holley, made changes to the files to restart the public benefits. (And guess who the benefits went to this time.)

As a result of the co-defendants’ illegal activity, SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer cards were sent to the addresses that Doxtator and Holley controlled and provided in the altered files. The devious duo used some of the misdirected benefits to make a few purchases and exchanged the rest for cash.

The SNAP fraud scheme not only depletes funds set aside for people who deserve the governmental assistance, it also affects public confidence in the program. Doxtator is headed to prison for committing SNAP fraud and aggravated identity theft. (This fraudster not only took advantage of the government by robbing the SNAP program, but also of honest, taxpaying Americans who will now be funding her stay in prison.)   

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, Milwaukee County Employee Sentenced for Fraud Scheme, published by the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, on January 26, 2021.

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on January 14, 2021, United States District Court Judge Lynn Adelman sentenced Nicole Doxtator (age: 30) of Milwaukee to two years and one day in prison following her conviction for mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. Doxtator, who committed the offenses in connection with her position as an economic support specialist with Milwaukee County Enrollment Services, pled guilty to the charges on September 24, 2020.

According to the indictment, Doxtator and her co-defendant, Granville Holley, accessed and made changes to the closed files of thirteen former Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients, causing the benefits to be revived. SNAP cards were then mailed, not to the former recipients, but to addresses where Doxtator and Holley would retrieve them. The two used several of the cards to make purchases for themselves. Other were sold for cash.

 

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.