Family Charged with Public Assistance Fraud and Grand Theft

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Talk about a family that ”Frauds” together..? A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Corrections deputy, along with her mother and stepfather, are accused of trying to defraud the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Belle Glade Housing Authority out of more than $100,000. On top of the charges stemming from the alleged public assistance fraud, the deputy and her stepfather also ”have been charged with grand theft of more than $100,000 and organized scheme to defraud more than $50,000.” A recent article by the Palm Beach Post highlights the separate charges brought against the family members.

The article, citing the probable cause affidavit, notes the deputy and stepfather failed to report their total household income to the Belle Glade Housing Authority and to USDA. By scamming the Housing Authority, the stepfather allegedly was able to receive utility assistance, meant for current and former disabled farm workers. Together they allegedly defrauded the USDA by failing to report income ”that made him ineligible to receive discounted monthly rent assistance, resulting in an approximately loss of $148,595.”

Not to be left out of the picture, the deputy’s mother has allegedly ”received an estimated $5,770 in food stamps and Medicaid benefits since September 2009 while claiming her nephew, but failed to report” that she was living with her husband, the deputy and the deputy’s children. Furthermore, the deputy allegedly had been living in her parent’s home undisclosed since 2002 and permitted the parents to claim guardianship of her children, which made them eligible to receive the rent assistance. (This is one fraud on top of another fraud, on top of another fraud. With this many agencies involved one would think that it wouldn’t take nine years to catch someone’s attention.)

The deputy has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation. She and her stepfather face up to 65 years in prison. Her mother faces up to 15 years in prison. (Here’s the key question? when will the taxpayers see the money?)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”PBSO Corrections Deputy, Parents, Charged with Fraud, Grand Theft” by Cynthia Roldan, published by Palm Beach Post, December 2, 2011.

A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Corrections Deputy was charged with public assistance fraud after investigators accused her of teaming up with her stepfather to defraud the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Belle Glade Housing Authority out of more than $100,000.

Tomika Latanya Mitchell, 33, and her stepfather Willie Eugene Singleton, 59, were released under supervision from the Palm Beach County Jail on Friday morning. Mitchell’s mother, 58-year-old Mildred Felton Singleton, who was also arrested on fraud charges, posted a $9,000 surety bond Thursday night.

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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.