Tag Archives: Welfare fraud

NJ millionaires, incl. a rabbi, arrested for welfare fraud

President Trump’s proposed budget blueprint for 2018 was met with harsh criticism over funding cuts to programs like SNAP, more commonly known as food stamps. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said one of the Trump administration’s objectives is to wean Americans off of welfare programs:

“We’re no longer going to measure compassion by the amount of money we spend, but by the number of people we help. If you’re in this country and you want to work … We’re going to get 3% growth and we’re going to give you the opportunity to work.”

Do the carping critics of Trump’s proposed cuts know about rampant welfare fraud, such as these latest, very egregious examples?

In a series of reports in June and July 2017 for Fox Business (here and here), Brittany De Lea tells of stings conducted by New Jersey law enforcement which resulted in the arrest of millionaires, including a rabbi, for defrauding millions of dollars from government welfare programs — Medicaid, food stamps (SNAP), Social Security, and public housing.
The defendants have all been charged with theft by deception, misrepresenting their incomes to show levels low enough in order to qualify for public assistance programs. In New Jersey, the maximum allowable gross monthly income for a family of five to be eligible for SNAP assistance is $4,385—which amounts to about $52,600 per year.
For unstated reasons, De Lea did not give the names of the accused fraudsters. Those arrested include:

  • Three married couples in Ocean County, New Jersey were charged with welfare fraud for under-reporting incomes in order to receive a collective $2 million in unmerited public welfare benefits.
  • Four other couples in the area faced similar charges for cheating the government out of $1.3 million. In one case, a couple received Medicaid benefits for multiple years despite their annual income of more than $1 million. Another couple fraudulently received $178,000 in housing, food and health benefits by falsely listing their businesses — from which they netted $1.8 million — under relatives’ names.
  • Seven couples in Lakewood, New Jersey, including a rabbi and his wife, were charged with gaming the system out of $2 million. Another 12 “wealthy individuals” were charged with defrauding Medicaid and other government assistance programs by misrepresenting their incomes. One couple alone collected nearly $75,000 in unentitled benefits from Medicaid between 2011 and 2013, despite their annual income of more than $1 million.

In fiscal year 2016, government spending on Medicaid totaled $14.5 billion for the state of New Jersey, and a whopping $553.4 billion for the U.S. as a whole.
It was only when I searched the Internet for more information on these arrests did I discover this — Lakewood, NJ, is a majority Orthodox Jewish municipality of 100,000, and the welfare fraudsters arrested are all Jews, including the rabbi and his wife.
As reported by Jen Krausz for NewsMax, July 4, 2017, the arrests sparked a “backlash — hateful social media comments, fliers, and slurs painted on a sheet covering a Holocaust memorial,” which prompted this statement from regional Anti-Defamation League Director Joshua Cohen:

“The allegations and the charges levied against (the defendants) have nothing to do with their religion. That’s why we’re deeply concerned when we see comments online, whether it’s on newspaper websites or social media, that are anti-Semitic.”

See also:

~Eowyn

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Welfare recipient lives in million dollar home

Feds: Seattle welfare recipient lives in million dollar home

King 5 NewsShe lives in a beautiful waterfront home on Seattle’s Lake Washington. Yet, she’s on welfare assistance.  This week federal agents moved in to put a stop to it. They raided her south Lake Washington home armed with a search warrant.
KING 5 News is not naming the woman or her husband because they have not been criminally charged.
Search warrant documents unsealed Friday in federal court reveal that she received $1,272 a month in public housing vouchers, plus monthly cash from the federal and state government for a disability, as well as food stamps.  And her husband, who is a chiropractor, drives a Jaguar.
Property records show the woman lives in a 2,500 square-foot home, with gardens and a boat dock, that is valued at $1.2 millionRecords show she has received welfare benefits while living in the plush home since 2003. Records also show she truthfully provided her address when she applied for benefits.  
How could the government allow housing subsidy dollars to someone who openly lives in one of Seattle’s most desirable neighborhoods?  A federal official spoke to KING 5 News on condition of anonymity. He says the housing voucher program provides coupons that help low-income people pay their rent. He says it allows people to get out of housing projects and move into the place of their choosing. However, he says a “flaw” is that the program doesn’t analyze where people are living, even if it is at a ritzy address that should raise a red flag.
Court records show the couple gave money to charities and traveled around the world to exotic places like Turkey, Tel Aviv and resort towns in Mexico.
How in the world did they even qualify for a housing voucher and food stamps?  If they can afford to travel like that, they don’t need our taxpayer dollars.  This woman and husband should be ashamed.  And we should be ashamed of a government system that allows this type of fraud to exist.
DCG

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The Camel's Nose Is In Michigan's Tent


Michigan is the 8th largest state in the USA. Arabic is not among the state’s 10 largest reported ancestries of German (22.9%), Irish (12%), English (10.6%), Polish (9.1%), French/French Canadian (7%), Dutch (5.2%), Italian (4.9%), American (4.8%),
Scottish (2.5%), or Swedish (1.7%).
Out of Michigan’s total population of nearly 10 million (9,883, 640), only about 300,000 people (3.03%) are Arabic, who trace their descent from the Middle East.
The city of Dearborn (Michigan’s 8th largest city), however, has a sizeable Arab community. 33.4% of Dearborn’s total population of 97,775 in 2000 were Arabic, comprised of Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac and Lebanese who had immigrated into Dearborn for jobs in the auto industry in the 1920s, along with more recent Yemenis and Iraqis.
Dearborn is the same city where in 2010, four Christians were arrested at the Arab-American Festival for distributing copies of the Gospel of John. The missionaries were peaceful, not violating any law, and were acting fully within our Constitution rights as U.S. citizens. Despite that, within a matter of three minutes, eight Dearborn police officers descended with lightning speed to surround and arrest the evangelists.
Thankfully, the Thomas More Law Center came to the defense of the Christians. On May 26, 2011, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the city and police of Dearborn had violated the evangelists’ First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
But that court ruling hasn’t stopped Creeping Sharia — the increasing incursion of Islam — into America, and into Michigan in particular.
To begin with, despite the fact that America is up to our national eyeballs in debt, the federal government has been “resettling” tens of thousands of mainly Muslim refugees, many from Africa’s Somalia, into the United States in the past few years. That federal policy places great strains on local and state governments because it is they who bear the costs when those refugees are “resettled” in their communities. Obama exacerbates the problem with his plan to let in some 80,000 mainly Muslim refugees in fiscal year 2011. (Read more about this here.)
Now an e-mail forwarded to the Fellowship by our Anon alerts us to the following:

Muslim men are allowed to have as many as 4 wives. Many Muslims have immigrated into the U.S. with their multiple wives. But the U.S. does not allow multi marriages, so the man lists one wife as his, and signs the other wives as his “extended family” on welfare and other free government programs!

In Michigan when you call the Public Assistance office you are told to Press 1 for English. Press 2 for Spanish, or Press 3 for Arabic! Every time you add a new language to an American program it requires an additional number of persons fluent in that language to process those persons who refuse to learn English in order to live here at an additional cost to the taxpayer. Why are we even allowing persons to immigrate here who cannot provide for themselves, and putting them in our welfare system?

This seems to have happened clandestinely, for, as far as I know, no public announcement, or opportunity to vote on this was offered to the American people.

I followed up on that e-mail and checked it out of myself. You can as well:

Muslims at best comprise only 3.03% of Michigan’s population, but the state government is bending over backward to provide special Arabic-language publications to make it easier for them to assess welfare benefits. All at the taxpayer’s expense.
America. What a great stupid country!

Update (Feb. 9, 2016):

Snopes says it’s immigrant men can’t just claim extended family members as their dependents for welfare:

In order to receive these forms of assistance in Michigan, all residents (Muslim or not) must meet basic eligibility requirements, among which are that they are must be either U.S. citizens or have “acceptable alien status.” As a representative of the Michigan Department of Human Services told us, although immigrants may bring and/or sponsor relatives (e.g., spouses, children, parents, siblings) for permanent residency or citizenship in the U.S., they cannot claim multiple wives as relatives for that purpose because U.S. law does not recognize plural marriages.
Nothing codified in the law says that “Muslim men are allowed to have as many as 4 wives” and sign them all up “for welfare and other free government programs.” Although a Muslim man (or any other man) might live in a polygamous relationship after taking up residency in Michigan, he may only legally claim one wife as his own — he cannot simply list additional (not legally recognized) wives as members of an “extended household” and claim public assistance benefits for them on that basis. Those other “wives” would have to qualify for immigration/residency status (if they were immigrants to the U.S.) and apply for public assistance benefits on their own (as single mothers or heads of households), independent of their status as “unofficial” wives or household members of someone already residing in Michigan.

~Eowyn

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This Will Make Your Head Explode: California’s Welfare Vacations

When was the last time you took a vacation?

What? You can’t remember when that was? Because you can’t afford it?

Well, I have a solution for you. Just move to California, become a parasite and go on welfare!

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wElqMl5TJM]

H/t Fellowship’s co-founder Joan.

FYI, it’s not just California taxpayers who are paying for this. The welfare dollars being squandered by California welfare recipients are federal welfare dollars. See my post “California Welfare $ Spent in Vegas, Cruise Ships.”

~Eowyn

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Food Stamps Used to Buy Lobsters and Steaks

America is broke. 1 of every 4 homes are underwater. 1 of every 8 Americans are on food stamps.
But Americans are a generous people. We help fellow Americans who are in need. But we deeply resent those who take advantage of our generosity by abusing government welfare, such as the food stamp program.
Every year, taxpayers spent $40 billion on those food stamps that are intended for the poor. Every one of those food stamps are paid for by you and me and the 53% of Americans who still pay income taxes.
According to the U.S. Agriculture Department, food stamp fraud totaled nearly $100 million since 2007. Abuse of the food stamp program accelerated when debit-style cards replaced paper coupons in the 1990s.  Examples of fraud and abuse include:

  • People hungry for cash ask the store to ring up a small food sale or a phony one. An employee agrees to hand over money, maybe $50, but takes a larger amount off the card for a nice profit, sometimes as high as 100%.
  • A store west of downtown Detroit sold bags of the exotic chewy drug khat in exchange for food-stamp benefits. The cash was then wired to Somalia and other countries.
  • The owner of Ann’s Market in Detroit, Wasfi Shalhout of Dearborn, Michigan, was sentenced to three years in prison in 2010 for $1.2 million of food stamp fraud. Shalhout would write dollar amounts on old lottery tickets and tell customers to present them at the counter. Customers waited in line 10-deep to trade food-stamp benefits for cash. Shalhout used the funds to pay off his mortgage, purchase property in Israel, and leased three vehicles.
  • A recent example of food stamp abuse is Leroy Fick of Auburn, Michigan, who won $2 million in a state lottery game nearly a year ago but is still getting food stamps.

Below is evidence of someone abusing the food stamp program. The evidence is a grocery store receipt, dated February 8, 2011, from the Angeli’s County Market in Menominee, Michigan. My brother sent this to me in an E-mail. Please help this go viral!

I’m among the 53% of Americans who pay income taxes. I don’t buy cold water lobster or Porterhouse steak, but go to the discount Grocery Outlet.
But this individual in Michigan whose food stamp debit card account ends in 5865 bought cold water lobsters, Porterhouse steaks, and Diet Mountain Dew because someone else is paying the $141.78 bill. That someone else is you, me, and other taxpayers.
When do we say “ENOUGH! We’re sick of it and we won’t put up with it any longer”?
One good way to say “ENOUGH!” is to report fraud when you see it. Here’s how, from the U.S. Department of Human Services website:

If you know of, and wish to report fraud or abuse of the cash assistance, food stamp, Medicaid or any other benefit program provided by the Department of Human Services, call the 24-hour hotline for fraud at (202) 673-4464 in the Office of Program Review, Monitoring and Investigation (OPRMI). Anonymous calls are accepted. Callers who give their names can request confidentiality at (202) 671-4496.

UPDATE: A few hours after I published this post, Fellowship of the Minds received an e-mail from David DiCrescenzo of AmericanPatriotsPress.com, informing us that he wrote on exactly this same food stamp abuse about 10 days ago. Mr. DiCrescenzo called Angeli’s County Market and spoke tothe manager, Dan Bursik, who confirmed the purchase. Read DiCrescenzo’s blog here!
UPDATE (June 5, 2011): Sharp-eyed reader Patti found this news on Fox11 WLUK-TV, June 3, 2011:
Louis Cuff, 33, was arrested Wednesday and charged with welfare fraud for misusing hundreds of dollars of state-issued food stamps. Authorities say Cuff used a Michigan-issued food stamp card to buy and then sell food items for about 50 cents-on-the-dollar. One of the receipts from February includes six lobster tails, two porterhouse steaks and soda, totaling $141.78. The Menominee County Sheriff’s Department says anonymous tips led to a month-long joint investigation with the Michigan Department of Human Services. Lt. Greg Nast with the Menominee County Sheriff’s Department says he was told someone found the receipt near the grocery store. Authorities say Cuff admitted to selling items purchased with food stamps on three occasions. If convicted, Cuff faces up to a five year prison sentence.
~Eowyn

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California Welfare $ Spent in Vegas, Cruise Ships

Here’s another reason why the state of California is dead broke and broken. Millions of taxpayer dollars handed out to welfare recipients parasites were spent in Las Vegas casinos, luxury cruises, and vacation sites of Hawaii, Miami, and Guam.
Despite that, the latest polls show perennial politico Jerry Brown (D) leading in the governor race and Barbara Boxer (D) — whom even the liberal San Francisco Chronicle refuses to endorse because she’s “ineffective” — leading in the senate race.
If welfare dollars are being squandered in California, imagine how federal welfare money is being spent….
~Eowyn

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$69 million in California welfare money drawn out of state

By Jack Dolan – Los Angeles Times – October 4, 2010
More than $69 million in California welfare money, meant to help the needy pay their rent and clothe their children, has been spent or withdrawn outside the state in recent years, including millions in Las Vegas, hundreds of thousands in Hawaii and thousands on cruise ships sailing from Miami. State-issued aid cards have been used at hotels, shops, restaurants, ATMs and other places in 49 other states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, according to data obtained by The Times from the California Department of Social Services. Las Vegas drew $11.8 million of the cash benefits, far more than any other destination. The money was accessed from January 2007 through May 2010.
Welfare recipients must prove they can’t afford life’s necessities without government aid: A single parent with two children generally must earn less than $14,436 a year to qualify for the cash assistance and becomes ineligible once his or her income exceeds about $20,000, said Lizelda Lopez, spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services.
Round-trip flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu on Orbitz.com Sunday started at $419 — more than 80% of the average monthly cash benefit for a single parent of two on CalWorks, the state’s main aid program. “How they can go somewhere like Hawaii and be legit on aid … they can’t,” said Robert Hollenbeck, a fraud investigator for the Fresno County district attorney’s office. “This is money for basic subsistence needs.”
The $387,908 accessed in Hawaii includes transactions at more than a thousand big-box stores, grocery stores, convenience shops and ATMs on all the major islands. At least $234,000 was accessed on Oahu, $70,626 on Maui, $39,883 on Hawaii and $22,170 on Kauai. The list includes $12,433 spent at the upscale Ala Moana shopping center, $3,030 spent at a group of gift shops next to Jimmy Buffett‘s Beachcomber restaurant on Waikiki Beach and $2,146 withdrawn from ATMs on the island of Lanai, home to a pair of Four Seasons resorts and little else. “If it’s on Lanai, that should trigger an investigation,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. “California taxpayers, who are struggling to keep their own jobs, are subsidizing other people’s vacations. That’s absurd.”
Of the nearly $12 million accessed in Las Vegas, more than $1 million was spent or withdrawn at shops and casino hotels on, or within a few blocks of, the 4.5-mile strip. The list includes $8,968 at the Tropicana, $7,995 at the Venetian and its Grand Canal Shoppes, and $1,332 at Tix 4 Tonight, seller of discount admission for such acts as Cirque du Soleil. Although many Las Vegas casinos block the use of welfare cards in ATMs on gambling floors, more than $34,700 has been spent or withdrawn from the ATM at a 7-Eleven in the shadow of Steve Wynn’s new Encore casino and a couple of blocks south of Circus Circus….
The data show addresses of stores and ATM locations where the cards have been used and the amounts of the transactions by year. They do not reveal the identities of the welfare recipients or show how many users visited a given retailer.
Of the $1.5 million accessed in Florida, $13,109 was spent or withdrawn in South Beach, most of that at bars and restaurants along trendy Lincoln Road. More than $7,000 was withdrawn from ATMs a few hours north, at Walt Disney World.
The data also show $16,010 withdrawn from 14 cruise ships sailing from ports around the world — Long Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing. Eight sail primarily from Miami.
The out-of-state spending accounts for less than 1% of the $10.8 billion spent by welfare recipients during the period covered, and advocates note that there are legitimate reasons to spend aid money outside of California. From the data provided, it cannot be determined whether any of the expenditures resulted from fraud. “I think when somebody hears it’s in a fancy hotel in Hawaii or Vegas, it’s too easy to assume the [welfare recipient] is visiting that place and it wasn’t somebody who stole their card,” said Jessica Bartholow, a legislative advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty.
There is no rule preventing welfare recipients from leaving California, as long as they get clearance from their county case worker to be absent from the program’s 32-hour-a-week job training requirement. County investigators, who state authorities say are responsible for rooting out fraud and abuse, typically don’t question a recipient’s whereabouts until transactions on a welfare card show that he or she has been gone for more than 30 days.
“If it’s a one-time thing in Miami, we would never check that out,” said John Haley, commander of the financial crimes division of the San Diego County district attorney’s office, who said 24% of all new welfare applications in his jurisdiction contain some form of fraud. “We look for patterns of abuse.” In Los Angeles County, investigators hadn’t been checking until a recipient was gone for three months, said Department of Public Social Services Director Philip Browning. The inability to do more was “really just a resource issue,” he said. Following questions from The Times, Browning said investigators would start inquiring once the data show that a recipient has been gone for more than 30 days.
Many recipients travel to other states in an emergency such as a death in the family, investigators say. But with government resources scarce, it’s difficult to sort those cases from incidents of abuse. An anti-fraud unit in Orange County, which won praise from state officials last year for saving the state millions, has since had to slash its budget and lay off 15 investigators, said Paul Bartlett, commander of the county district attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. Those cuts saved $900,000 in operating expenses but allowed “an estimated $9.6 million in suspected fraud payments out the door,” according to an Orange County Grand Jury report released in May.
A state audit last year found that none of California’s 58 counties was adequately following up on information that could help root out fraud, including monthly computer matches that list clients who are receiving duplicate aid from other states, those who are ineligible because they’re in prison and others who have died.

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