May 27, 2018
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Maine cracks down on welfare fraud cases

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine — Attorney General Janet Mills says a newly hired state prosecutor has secured several indictments in the last two weeks alleging welfare fraud.

Assistant Attorney General Peter Black started work about a month ago, focusing on theft and fraud by recipients of state programs.

In Cumberland County, an indictment charges a man with theft, aggravated forgery and misuse of identification for using his deceased father’s food stamp card.

In Androscoggin County, a woman was indicted on three counts of unsworn falsification for misuse of about $25,000 in Temporary Aid for Needy Families and ASPIRE benefits.

In Kennebec County Superior Court, a Winslow woman was indicted last week by a grand jury on one count of theft by deception and eight counts of aggravated forgery.

Leah L. Wright, 34, entered pleas of not guilty Tuesday to an indictment that accuses her of fraudulently obtaining food stamps by forging state documents to say she was pregnant over a 40-month period.

Wright received about $4,000 in food stamp benefits from the state Department of Health and Human Services between Sept. 28, 2006, and Feb. 1, 2010, by falsely stating she was pregnant, according to Assistant Attorney General Leane Robbin.

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