Welfare Fraud question. A person who received an inheritance when her grandmother died, and has failed to report, is still receiving food stamps.

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Welfare Fraud question. A person who received an inheritance when her grandmother died, and has failed to report, is still receiving food stamps.

Her inheritance is in an account that is under her mother’s name and her mother cuts her checks on a regular basis. She doesn’t know that anybody is aware of this and has boasted how her landlord can’t touch her for non-payment of rent because she is on welfare. She is being turned in for welfare fraud and will obviously go through some sort of discovery process to hopefully uncover her hidden cash flow. Can this discovery be used by her landlord to recover the months of rent owed during the eviction process? And is this illegal for the mother who has been told that daughter has a legit job?

Asked on June 17, 2009 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

This person has dug herself a very deep hole, I'd say.  I'm not a California lawyer, so I'm not sure exactly how her fraudulent welfare status affected any eviction proceedings, and I'd need to know the details of any actual eviction attempts, along with the rest of the facts, as well.  The landlord should take this case to a local attorney, for reliable advice on how to take advantage of this situation.  One place to find a qualified lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com

And I'd say that not only the person who received the inheritance, but her mother as well, might need a good lawyer.  On the facts given in the question, the mother could be charged as an accessory to welfare fraud, and it's even possible that both of them could be charged with conspiracy to commit welfare fraud, if there is such an offense in your state.


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