Promoting and protecting the health and safety of all Idahoans
Español    Idaho.gov    About Us    Contact Us  

View Article

22
posted on June 22, 2009 11:43
 
 
NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                           Emily Simnitt
June 22, 2009                                                                                                         (208) 334-0693
 
Fraud Case Catches Up to California Man Eight Years Later
 
A man who committed welfare fraud eight years ago and who fled the state to avoid prosecution pled guilty last month to fraudulent procurement of public assistance. Devyn Morrison, 34, a former Boise resident who now resides in California, was ordered to repay the state $2,976 plus fines and costs. He also was placed on two years probation and ordered not to receive public assistance for the next four years. 
 
In 2001, Morrison was illegally receiving cash assistance, Food Stamps, medical assistance and child care assistance because he did not report all of his income or settlements he received from insurance claims. After failed attempts to settle with Morrison civilly, AdaCounty filed a felony criminal case against him in July 2004. At that time, Morrison fled the state.
 
An Idaho Department of Health and Welfare fraud investigator, Paula Hisle, was helping with a California fraud investigation on another case and inquired about Morrison with California authorities in 2008. From that inquiry, a California fraud investigator located Morrison and he was arrested and extradited to Idaho.
 
“Programs such as Food Stamps are interconnected nationally, which assists us in finding people who have committed fraud,” Hisle says. “Idaho public assistance programs are very important for many citizens struggling in these difficult economic times, so it is important that we protect these resources from fraudulent use.”
 
Eventually, Morrison was allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanor Fraudulent Procurement of Public Assistance and to return to California to serve his probation.
 
“Welfare fraud is rare, but this shows that we are very persistent in bringing people to justice who are deceiving assistance programs funded by taxpayer dollars,” says Steve Bellomy, who heads Health and Welfare's Bureau of Audits and Investigations. “People who suspect someone is committing public assistance fraud are encouraged to report illegal activity.”
 
To report suspected fraud, call toll-free 1-866-635-7515, or email to welfraud@dhw.idaho.gov.
 
(Editors: For more information please contact DHW Public Information Officer Emily Simnitt at
208-334-0693.)