Unfair Welfare

22246825 - the many money .

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t escape where you come from. You have to feel for the people from towns like Boring, Oregon or Hooker, Oklahoma. Places like that just come with a set of expectations. Take the woman from Athol, Massachusetts (say it without the lisp). According to Telegram.com, this upstanding citizen pleaded guilty to falsely claiming $58,000 in food assistance from the Supplemental Nutritional Program and Supplemental Security Income.

This case was uncovered due in part to an investigation that turned up $1.8 million in fraudulent public assistance benefits and services from January to March. (January to March? Can someone get me a cold towel? I need to lie down.) According to the article, the investigation found ”401 people who defrauded the state out of welfare, food stamps, child-care services, health care benefits, public housing or cash assistance.” (Oy vey.)

The article quotes the state auditor, who made an important point: ”In today’s economic climate, with so many struggling to get by, it is more important than ever to make sure every dollar given in benefits goes to those who are actually in need.” (Is there an echo?) She added: ”BSI [Bureau of Special Investigations] oversight identifies millions of dollars in fraud every year.”

Bottom line: it looks like we need to do a better job of keeping Athols out of the system.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on the article entitled ”Athol Woman Charged with Fraud in State Auditor’s Probe,” written by Paula J. Owen and published by Telegram.com on June 11, 2012.

An Athol woman pleaded guilty to $58,000 in public assistance fraud as part of a state auditor’s investigation that uncovered $1.8 million of fraud from January to March.

Kathleen Brower of Athol pleaded guilty to fraudulently collecting $58,170 in food assistance from the Supplemental Nutritional Program and Supplemental Security Income. She was placed on probation for three years and ordered to pay full restitution in Boston Municipal Court.

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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.