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posted on February 27, 2009 11:18
An Orofino man accused of not reporting his income in order to receive public assistance was given a suspended prison sentence on Wednesday. Roger Stanton, 44, received Food Stamp and Medicaid benefits while failing to report thousands of dollars in income selling items through an on-line auction.
 
District Judge Jonathon Bradbury sentenced Stanton to a suspended prison sentence of two to six years, then placed him on three to six years probation for Fraudulent Procurement of Public Assistance. Stanton also was ordered to repay the state $4,615 in restitution for Food Stamp and Medicaid benefits, and to provide 1,000 hours of community service.
 
Stanton was accused of not accurately reporting his income, and would not have been eligible for the public assistance benefits he and his family received. He was also barred from applying for and receiving public assistance for a minimum of three years. 
 
“With cooperation from law enforcement, we were able to prove Mr. Stanton had significantly more household income than he was reporting,” says Howard Elliott, aFraud Investigator for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. “Mr. Stanton failed to report $27,000 of on-line auction income over a three month period, making him ineligible for public assistance programs.”
 
Steve Bellomy, who heads Health and Welfare’s Bureau of Audits and Investigations, says welfare fraud is rare, but workers are watchful. “With today’s economy, public assistance is a valuable resource for many struggling families who cannot afford food or medical coverage,” he said. “We want to help those who really need assistance, but we are vigilant of any misuse.”