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Update: Lottery winner charged with welfare fraud

Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at 3:04 PM

It is being reported that Amanda Clayton, whom I wrote a column about last month, is being arraigned for welfare fraud.

Clayton, you may remember, won a $1 million lottery prize, but continued using Michigan's food stamp program.

She's facing up to four years in prison, though I doubt she'll serve time.

The state Department of Human Services dropped Clayton from the program and said it was her responsibility to report her windfall within 10 days.

"It's simply common sense that million dollar lottery winners forfeit their right to public assistance," Attorney General Bill Schuette said. "We will continue to work with local, state and federal authorities to uphold state laws intended to ensure wise stewardship of taxpayer dollars."

The Michigan legislature passed a law that requires individuals who win $1,000 or more to report their winnings. DHS will then do an evaluation to decide if the person can continue to receive public assistance.

At least Michigan is taking steps to improve its welfare program. Hopefully the country as a whole will follow suit.

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While this was the right thing to do, I wonder how many tens of thousands of individual welfare fraud cases it takes to equal one legal corporate/industry welfare payment? Like the oil subsidies paid to encourage oil companies to develop their industry. I guess they're struggling and need all the help they can get, at least according to the GOP but not the oil companies themselves per their congressional testimony.

But don't forget about corporate welfare fraud either, like Florida Gov. Rick Scott, former CEO of Columbia/HCA, guilty of the largest fraud settlement in US history. The Columbia/HCA board of directors pressured Scott to resign as Chairman and CEO following the inquiry. He was paid $9.88 million in a settlement. He also left owning 10 million shares of stock worth over $350 million. I guess Florida figures that's what makes a good governor.

Anyway, I'm just saying, if you watch the dollars the pennies will take care of themselves.

-- Posted by helped_myself on Tue, Apr 17, 2012, at 6:08 PM

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