A 46-year-old man from Duluth is facing several counts of fraud after allegedly concealing income in order to receive county benefits. He is accused of fraudulently receiving $7,873.53 in medical assistance, cash benefits and food support from the county of St. Louis. The man allegedly neglected to report that he had been receiving unemployment benefits, veterans benefits and income from employment. He is charged with theft by swindle and wrongfully obtaining assistance. A court date is set for Jan. 16.
The alleged fraud began in March of 2011. The man applied for health care, cash, food support and emergency help through the Department of Health and Human Services in St. Louis County. He claimed that he was not getting any other benefits and that he had been unemployed since July 2010.
The criminal report states that the man was actually getting unemployment benefits from Colorado. He had also been receiving veterans benefits for most of 2011. The man was apparently working at Northwoods Trucking for most of the year as well. He allegedly failed to report the $8,000 he earned at the job.
The complaint also states the man was warned several times that he must submit all sources of income to authorities. While reporting his income in May 2012, he claimed to be receiving $566 per month in veterans benefits; however, investigators learned that he had already been receiving that money for a few months. He was eventually denied county benefits for failing to accurately report his income.
The man claims that he did in fact report his earnings from the trucking job and from his unemployment benefits. White collar crimes such as these can be especially aggravating to taxpayers, as it appears that the man has illegally acquired money that is meant for people who really need emergency help. However, it must be left up to the courts to decide whether or not this man is actually guilty of the charges against him.
Source: duluthnewstribune.com, “Duluth man faces fraud charges” Tom Olsen, Dec. 18, 2013