Schuette, Corrigan Announce Lottery Winner Pleads No Contest To Felony Welfare FraudContact:
Joy Yearout 517-373-8060
June 29, 2012
- Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Michigan Department of Human
Services Director Maura D. Corrigan today announced a woman charged with
receiving food assistance payments after winning over half a million dollars
from the Michigan Lottery has pled no contest. Amanda Clayton, 25, of Lincoln
Park, pled no contest on June 28th, 2012 to one count of Welfare
Fraud (Failure to Inform) $500 or More, a four year felony, before the Hon.
Margie Braxton in Wayne County's 3rd Circuit Court. As part of the
plea agreement, Ms. Clayton is required to pay $5,475.37 in restitution to the
"It's just common sense that
lottery jackpot winners should not be collecting welfare," said Schuette. "We
will continue to work with Director Corrigan to eliminate waste, fraud and
abuse. Anyone attempting to game the system and take advantage of Michigan
taxpayers will be held accountable for their actions."
"We believe that justice has been
done in this case," said Corrigan. "The food benefits we administer are meant
for those truly in need, not lottery millionaires. Now, for the first time, we
are able to cross-reference with the Michigan Lottery to assure this does not
happen in the future."
Ms. Clayton's plea comes after the
Attorney General's Criminal Division charged her with two counts of Welfare
Fraud after receiving $5,475.37 in public assistance to which she was not
entitled between August 1, 2011 and March 6, 2012.
On September 12, 2011 Clayton won
$514,427.06 in the "Make me Rich game show from the Michigan Lottery. State Law
requires that all recipients of assistance from DHS notify the department if
their income situation changes due to employment or any other source. By not
reporting the winnings as is required by law, Clayton continued to receive DHS
payments from the Food Assistance Program, the Family Independence Program, and
the Medical Assistance Program after she was no longer eligible. As part of the
plea agreement, a second charge of Welfare Fraud for failing to report income
from a new job has been dismissed.
Clayton is scheduled to be
sentenced before on the Hon. Margie Braxton on July 24, 2012 at 9:00am.
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