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      Prosecutor cracks down on welfare fraud

      The Cheboygan County Prosecuting Attorney's Office has issued felony welfare fraud warrants against six people over the past week and says more warrants are expected.

      The Cheboygan County Prosecuting Attorney's Office is cracking down on welfare fraud.

      Prosecutor Vizina has issued felony welfare fraud warrants against six people over the past week and says more warrants are expected.

      The following people are charged with welfare fraud:

      David Alexander Jewell, 29, of Cheboygan

      Cynthia Lois-Ann Cogswell, 30, of Indian River

      Paula Marie Truman, 31, of Cheboygan

      Elmer Lewis Truman, 41, of Cheboygan

      Sarah Wright, 49, of Walterboro, South Carolina

      Patrick Alexander Phillips, 25, of Cheboygan

      "In addition to these six defendants, we also have a couple more that we will be prosecuting shortly. When we receive one, we aggressively seek full reimbursement," said Cheboygan County Prosecuting Attorney Daryl Vizina.

      Prosecutor Vizina said successful prosecution starts with people reporting the fraudulent activities to local law enforcement agencies. In these cases, there are a variety of methods of alleged fraud: (1) There were individuals falsifying their work status to receive benefits; (2) individuals giving false information regarding their household income to improperly obtain housing assistance; and (3) receiving Michigan benefits after moving outside the state and using those benefits in the other state.

      You can report welfare fraud to a local law enforcement agency or the State of Michigan Welfare Fraud Hotline at: 1-800-222-8558.

      If you suspect retailers are accepting food stamp benefits for unauthorized items (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets), contact the USDA-Food and Nutrition Services Compliance Section at: 616-954-0319. You can report welfare fraud online.