Lottery Winner Charged, Welfare Fraud: Attorney General
In Michigan, the Attorney General Bill Schuette has charged Amanda Clayton, 25, from Lincoln Park, Michigan with welfare fraud because she continued to collect food stamps after winning the state lottery's $1 million Make Me Rich! game show. The welfare charges are both felonies.
Ms. Clayton's use of a food stand bridge card was discovered earlier in 2012. She awaits arraignment on charges of failing to inform welfare officials of her winnings in 2011, according to government officials in Michigan. She allegedly collected about $5,475 in food and medical assistance from August 2011 through March 2012. Both charges of welfare fraud – failure to inform – carry a maximum of 4 years in prison. Mr. Schuette said “It's simply common sense that million-dollar lottery winners forfeit their right to public assistance.
Ms. Clayton won the televised game on September 12, 2011 and took home more than half a million dollars, after taxes. In an interview in WDIV-TV, she supposedly said that she was justified in continuing to collect the state payments after her windfall because she was now unemployed.
What's a person to do with two houses and bills to pay and no income? Ms. Clayton believes: “That's it's okay” to keep collecting food stamps while owning two houses.