Making the Wrong Moves


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Moving to another state often involves a lot of paperwork, unless you don’t bother to file it. An article posted on tells the story of a woman who moved from Virginia to Maryland, and continued to receive food stamps from Virginia, while at the same time collecting benefits in her new state. (But this one is worse than just a double-dipper.)

According to the story, this was not the defendant’s first conviction, she was actually on her fourth. Although she was charged with four counts of welfare fraud in which she received $6,772, her defense attorney explained that this state-hopping swindler had already served prison sentences for three prior convictions. (You know how the saying goes, ”Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” It’s just downright shameful no matter how you look at it.)

The former Virginian’s defense attorney tried to explain the events which led to her fraudulent claims by contextualizing her circumstances as ”unique.” (I’m not seeing it. She’s no different than any other criminal who lies, cheats and steals.) The judge reprimanded the repeat offender for collecting benefits from two different states because her actions were worse than simply filling out a false application. (I wonder if the chronic criminal felt the gravity of the situation since she tends to gravitate toward illegal activities.)

As a result of her illegal actions, this food stamp fraudster was convicted to 19 months in jail and must pay a large sum in restitution.(Maybe she is one of those people who feel more comfortable in jail rather than living on the outside. Why not get a free ride from honest, tax-paying citizens as long as possible?)

Paperwork may not be exciting, unless your version of a thrill is to see how much you can falsify without getting caught. But assuming that states don’t share information, especially when they share borders, can result in an unplanned change of address.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Woman jailed for welfare fraud in Va. and Md.,” written by Nancy Drury Duncan and published by WVEC-TV on November 24, 2015.

A woman who lived in Maryland and received food stamps from both Virginia and Maryland will serve 19 months in jail.

Felicia Byrd, 44, now of Temperanceville, received $6,772 with her fraudulent statements.

“This defendant is unique,” said her attorney Theresa Bliss.

She listed her client’s criminal convictions and said Byrd has been incarcerated on three separate occasions.

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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.