As we all know, when times are tough people will do things that they never would normally consider just to get by. The economic climate which we all now face has pushed many otherwise law abiding citizens to the edge, creating a few criminals in the process. One way in which this can happen is through fraud. Fraud is defined as a false representation of a matter of fact – basically a lie. Usually fraud is committed to achieve an outcome that is otherwise impossible. For instance, someone may claim to have a disability so they can qualify for medicaid assistance that would not otherwise be available.
In the case at hand a Wake County woman, Lauren Brewer, was recently arrested and charged with food stamp fraud and receiving medical assistance through fraud. What was her lie? Mrs. Brewer allegedly lied to social workers, stating that she was divorced and lived alone, when in fact she was happily married and living with her husband. How much did this simple lie cost the government? Almost $34,000.00! Mrs. Brewer is alleged to have defrauded tax payers of $27,506 in government medical assistance and $6,572 in food stamps.
This little white lie will ultimately cost Mrs. Brewer either a lot of money or an extended stay in her local federal corrections facility. Unfortunately she is not alone, as the continued economic downturn has put many families into financial situations where risking it all seems preferable to the alternative. Thankfully there are programs like Roads to Justice which can help families understand their options and avoid resorting to criminal behavior.