Welfare Fraud Charges Brought Against Lottery Winner by AG
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan announced today that the Attorney General's Criminal Division has charged a million-dollar lottery winner with two felony counts of welfare fraud after investigation revealed she failed to report her winnings, as well as her employment, as required by State law governing public assistance programs. The charges resulted from an investigation by the Michigan Department of Human Services, Office of Inspector General.
Schuette said "it's simply common sense that million dollar lottery winners forfeit their right to public assistance. We will continue to work with local, state and federal authorities to uphold state laws intended to ensure wise stewardship of taxpayer dollars."
Corrigan added "the hard work done by our Office of Inspector General has helped make the difference in this case. That commitment to investigation and uncovering the truth, combined with the new law recently enacted by the legislature and signed by the Governor, will make it easier to ensure that outrages involving instant millionaires on public assistance don't happen in the future."
Amanda Clayton, 25, of Lincoln Park, received assistance from August 2010 through March 2012. The investigation by the DHS, Office of Inspector General revealed that Clayton was employed from June 2011 through October 2011. It's alleged that income from Clayton's employment during that time period was never reported to DHS officials as required by State law. Additionally, on September 12, 2011, Clayton won $1 million in the "Make Me Rich!" game show sponsored by the Michigan Lottery. It is also alleged she failed to report the lottery winnings as income. As a result, from August 2011 through March 2012, Clayton allegedly collected just under $5,500 in food and medical assistance benefits for which she would have otherwise been ineligible.
UPDATE: Clayton was arraigned at 11 a.m. today in Lincoln Park's 25th District Court on two charges - Welfare Fraud and Failure To Inform - a 4-year felony. Chief Judge Michael Ciungan set her bond at $10,000 or 10%. She is next due in court for a preliminary exam on May 1st.