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Concord woman pleads guilty to taking $250,000 in federal benefits

A Concord woman has pleaded guilty to using false information to get more than $250,000 from U.S. government programs.

Fifty-four-year-old Betty Dugan admitted to reporting that her husband was not a member of her household and did not contribute any income when, in fact, he was. His salary ranged from $69,000 to $89,000.

U.S. Attorney John Kacavas said Dugan received benefits from the Social Security Administrations’ Supplemental Income program; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 Housing program; the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Stamp program; and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Financial Assistance to Needy Families and Aid to Permanently Disabled Persons programs.

Dugan is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 21, 2014.

Legacy Comments5

According to liberals/progressives/Democrats, there's no such thing as welfare fraud. Nothing to see here, just move along. This is only "anecdotal evidence" of waste/fraud/abuse...

That's one. For the record, I don't recall anyone on here claiming there is "no such thing" as welfare fraud. That's on you. Fraud exists in any human endeavor--public OR private. That includes fraud related to voting as well. But the right takes any instance of fraud and then claims--absent evidence--that abuse must therefore be widespread. And then goes on to suggest remedies that do more harm than good. The recently enacted "voter fraud" laws in some states disproportionally affect minority voters, which they were designed to do by Republican legislators fearful of the demographic tide that is rendering the GOP its richly deserved minority status. The same is true of the GOP/Tealiban treatment of the SNAP program and other low-income assistance programs. On their moralistic high horse, they condemn such programs as costly and wasteful, while ignoring other, much larger examples of costly waste. Health care costs, for instance. The ACA, flawed as it is, is at least an honest attempt to deal with those costs. The conservative response? "Ya got nothing" that would work in the real world.

How could her husband not be aware of the money situation in their household? Did she stay at home or did she work? As indicated by other comments, these departments should be linked for obvious reasons. Information is critical to these programs. A citizen like this woman whose husband earns a decent salary decides to lie, cheat and steal from the American taxpayer paid programs. And she got away with it for a while, how did she accomplish this? Is she able to pay these monies back? My email address has change to: Putting her in jail does not seem to be enough. The monies are not replaceable.

Wow. Hard to believe this woman could scam so many departments. Sadly, even if you combined these departments, you will not be solving the problem. The issue is how they verify the income of the folks who apply. I remember years back when social workers use to call folks and tell them they were coming to pay a visit. Talk about a heads up. You would think that agencies that hand out taxpayer money would have a way to verify the incomes of folks who apply for the funds. Evidently it is easy to get on govt programs. She was caught, but how many are not?

This is a good example of why all these various agencies should be combined into one agency that deals with "assistance". Take the overlapping of personnel and move them into investigative positions. Stop all the waste and abuse and there is plenty of money already in the system for years to come. We still hear of people in prison getting benefits. One person a quarter of a million dollars, think there are any more cheaters across the US.

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