Attorney General Bill Schuette and Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura D. Corrigan today announced that the Attorney General's Criminal Division has charged a million-dollar lottery winner with two felony counts of welfare fraud after investigation revealed she failed to report her lottery winnings, as well as her employment, as required by State law governing public assistance programs. The charges resulted from an investigation by the Michigan Department of Human Services, Office of Inspector General.
"It's simply common sense that million dollar lottery winners forfeit their right to public assistance," said Schuette. "We will continue to work with local, state and federal authorities to uphold state laws intended to ensure wise stewardship of taxpayer dollars."
"The hard work done by our Office of Inspector General has helped make the difference in this case," said Corrigan. "That commitment to investigation and uncovering the truth, combined with the new law recently enacted by the legislature and signed by the Governor, will make it easier to ensure that outrages involving instant millionaires on public assistance don't happen in the future."
Amanda Clayton, 25, of Lincoln Park, received public assistance from August 2010 through March 2012. Investigation by the Department of Human Services, Office of Inspector General revealed that Clayton was employed from June 2011 through October 2011. It is alleged that income from Clayton's employment during that time period was never reported to DHS officials, as required by State law. Additionally, on September 12, 2011, Clayton won $1,000,000 in the "Make Me Rich!" game show sponsored by the Michigan Lottery. It is alleged Clayton also failed to report the lottery winnings as income. As a result, from August 2011 through March 2012, Clayton allegedly collected approximately $5,475 in food and medical assistance benefits for which she would otherwise have been ineligible.