Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
The time is now 5:07 am
You last visited July 26, 2014, 5:07 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Michigan lottery winner convicted of welfare fraud gets probation

Michigan LotteryMichigan Lottery: Michigan lottery winner convicted of welfare fraud gets probation
51
Rating:

DETROIT, Mich. — The Lincoln Park, Michigan, woman who made national headlines for continuing to accept food stamp benefits after winning $1 million on a Michigan Lottery game show was sentenced today in Wayne County Circuit Court to nine months of probation.

Amanda Clayton, 25, won the money on the show "Make me Rich!" last year and took home more than $700,000 after taxes. She was charged in April with two felony counts of welfare fraud — failure to inform for not alerting the state Department of Human Services about her winnings and income from her job.

Clayton accepted $5,475 in food and medical benefits from August 2011 through March this year that Attorney General Bill Schuette's office said she was not eligible for. She pleaded no contest in June and one charge was dropped.

Today, she paid the money back in full. She also has to pay court costs and fines.

Her attorney, John Dakmak, said she is happy to get on with her life. She also promised to repay the state when she was first charged.

"Paying back the money has never been in an issue for Ms. Clayton." Dakmak said. "When she was first approached by a DHS employee talking about a repayment of funds, she wanted to pay the money back right away."

Clayton is a single mother and is now looking for work after she was fired from her job at a White Castle because of the case, Dakmak said. He added that he has heard criticism that she won enough money to not have to work but said that is not realistic.

"I don't want to make light of the fact that she won a million dollars." Dakmak said. "That's a lot of money. She wants to provide for her family long term and that includes working. ... Now she's got this felony conviction."

Dakmak declined to let Clayton speak after the sentencing hearing.

Another attorney at the same firm that represented Clayton at her arraignment, Stanley Wise, previously said the Attorney General's Office was trying to make an example of Clayton. There were alternative sentences that are normally used in similar cases that were not used, Dakmak said, but he stopped short of completely agreeing with Wise.

In response to the publicity the case received, the state Legislature passed bills that Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law that now require the Michigan Lottery to notify the DHS about people who win more than $1,000. They also will be cross-referenced, and there are new tests to determine lottery winners' eligibility for taxpayer-funded aid.

Randy Wood, a spokesman for Schuette's office, said the attorney general will continue to work with the DHS to find and prosecute people who commit welfare fraud.

"We're pleased that the taxpayers of Michigan are going to be paid back for this fraud," Wood said. "It makes no sense that someone who won the lottery keep receiving food stamps."

"We believe that justice has been done in this case," Maura Corrigan, director of the DHS, said in June in a press release. "The food benefits we administer are meant for those truly in need, not lottery millionaires. Now, for the first time, we are able to cross-reference with the Michigan Lottery to assure this does not happen in the future."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Lottery Post Staff

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

23 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by wknightm.
Page 1 of 2

United States
Member #111446
May 25, 2011
6323 Posts
Offline
Posted: July 24, 2012, 5:12 pm - IP Logged

The Lincoln Park, Michigan, woman who made national headlines for continuing to accept food stamp benefits after winning $1 million on a Michigan Lottery game show was sentenced today in Wayne County Circuit Court to nine months of probation.

Amanda Clayton, 25, won the money on the show "Make me Rich!" last year and took home more than $700,000 after taxes. She was charged in April with two felony counts of welfare fraud — failure to inform for not alerting the state Department of Human Services about her winnings and income from her job.

Clayton accepted $5,475 in food and medical benefits from August 2011 through March this year that Attorney General Bill Schuette's office said she was not eligible for. She pleaded no contest in June and one charge was dropped.

Today, she paid the money back in full. She also has to pay court costs and fines.

Her attorney, John Dakmak, said she is happy to get on with her life. She also promised to repay the state when she was first charged.

"Paying back the money has never been in an issue for Ms. Clayton." Dakmak said. "When she was first approached by a DHS employee talking about a repayment of funds, she wanted to pay the money back right away."

Clayton is a single mother and is now looking for work after she was fired from her job at a White Castle because of the case, Dakmak said. He added that he has heard criticism that she won enough money to not have to work but said that is not realistic.

"I don't want to make light of the fact that she won a million dollars." Dakmak said. "That's a lot of money. She wants to provide for her family long term and that includes working. ... Now she's got this felony conviction."

Dakmak declined to let Clayton speak after the sentencing hearing.

Another attorney at the same firm that represented Clayton at her arraignment, Stanley Wise, previously said the Attorney General's Office was trying to make an example of Clayton. There were alternative sentences that are normally used in similar cases that were not used, Dakmak said, but he stopped short of completely agreeing with Wise.

In response to the publicity the case received, the state Legislature passed bills that Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law that now require the Michigan Lottery to notify the DHS about people who win more than $1,000. They also will be cross-referenced, and there are new tests to determine lottery winners' eligibility for taxpayer-funded aid.

Randy Wood, a spokesman for Schuette's office, said the attorney general will continue to work with the DHS to find and prosecute people who commit welfare fraud.

"We're pleased that the taxpayers of Michigan are going to be paid back for this fraud," Wood said. "It makes no sense that someone who won the lottery keep receiving food stamps."

"We believe that justice has been done in this case," Maura Corrigan, director of the DHS, said in June in a press release. "The food benefits we administer are meant for those truly in need, not lottery millionaires. Now, for the first time, we are able to cross-reference with the Michigan Lottery to assure this does not happen in the future."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Sounds like she's making a fresh start for herself and is back on track. Best of luck to her!  Lep   Thumbs Up

 

Wonder if she has any leftover food stamps for sale. What?

    Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
    Clarksville
    United States
    Member #487
    July 15, 2002
    17638 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: July 24, 2012, 5:41 pm - IP Logged

    Sounds like she's making a fresh start for herself and is back on track. Best of luck to her!  Lep   Thumbs Up

     

    Wonder if she has any leftover food stamps for sale. What?

    Green laugh

    If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

    You never know when you will get another hit.

      zinniagirl's avatar - flower avatar_0026.jpg
      nc
      United States
      Member #99522
      October 26, 2010
      224 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: July 24, 2012, 6:11 pm - IP Logged

      Made restitution and will serve probation?   Is this a felony charge or a misdemeanor charge?  If it's a felony charge, this decision of hers will follow her for a long time!

        dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
        Oklahoma
        United States
        Member #82391
        November 12, 2009
        5214 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: July 24, 2012, 7:00 pm - IP Logged

        Sounds like she's making a fresh start for herself and is back on track. Best of luck to her!  Lep   Thumbs Up

         

        Wonder if she has any leftover food stamps for sale. What?

        I know mcginnin56 your last comment was in humor however I feel that the people who buy these cards should be punish as well.

        I Love Pink & Green 1908


          United States
          Member #111446
          May 25, 2011
          6323 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: July 24, 2012, 7:28 pm - IP Logged

          I know mcginnin56 your last comment was in humor however I feel that the people who buy these cards should be punish as well.

          I Agree!

            haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
            egg harbor twp.south jersey shore
            United States
            Member #112972
            June 29, 2011
            3096 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: July 24, 2012, 7:44 pm - IP Logged

            Made restitution and will serve probation?   Is this a felony charge or a misdemeanor charge?  If it's a felony charge, this decision of hers will follow her for a long time!

            Yes,  the story said it was a felony.

            Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

              Avatar
              New Member
              Jersey City
              United States
              Member #126491
              April 10, 2012
              15 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: July 24, 2012, 11:34 pm - IP Logged

              All the hell break lose when an average American fools the system for few 100s or thousands of dollars but nothing is done to stop the tax evasions of billions of dollars by companies like Apple. Silly world we live in.

                Avatar

                United States
                Member #94618
                July 24, 2010
                4364 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: July 25, 2012, 6:05 am - IP Logged

                All the hell break lose when an average American fools the system for few 100s or thousands of dollars but nothing is done to stop the tax evasions of billions of dollars by companies like Apple. Silly world we live in.

                I Agree!... Apple sends all its jobs overseas, evades taxes and eveyone thinks its a great company.


                  United States
                  Member #111446
                  May 25, 2011
                  6323 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: July 25, 2012, 6:22 am - IP Logged

                  I Agree!... Apple sends all its jobs overseas, evades taxes and eveyone thinks its a great company.

                  Apple is hurting us. Ouchhhhhhh!!!   Crying     

                   

                    dpoly1's avatar - driver
                    PA
                    United States
                    Member #66141
                    October 16, 2008
                    1434 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: July 25, 2012, 11:57 am - IP Logged

                    Justice Smash has been served, but I fear that this is just the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to cheating on welfare!

                    dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                     

                    Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

                      maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-064.jpg

                      United States
                      Member #124621
                      March 16, 2012
                      1475 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: July 25, 2012, 1:13 pm - IP Logged

                      Justice Smash has been served, but I fear that this is just the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to cheating on welfare!

                      we have to start somewhere... now we just need to be consistent and keep going.

                        Avatar
                        New Member
                        hendersonville tn
                        United States
                        Member #130825
                        July 25, 2012
                        1 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: July 25, 2012, 5:59 pm - IP Logged

                        she looks shady iam glad she payed the money back

                          larry3100's avatar - larry icon2.jpg
                          Redwood City,California
                          United States
                          Member #70503
                          February 3, 2009
                          161 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: July 25, 2012, 10:29 pm - IP Logged

                          Sorry to say, Amanda's "Not my type".But I could use that $700,000!  Smiley


                            United States
                            Member #111446
                            May 25, 2011
                            6323 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: July 25, 2012, 10:36 pm - IP Logged

                            she looks shady iam glad she payed the money back