Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Incentives in Anoka County

Incentives matter:
Long suspicious that a Fridley mother of eight was cheating the state out of various welfare benefits, authorities have charged her Tuesday receiving more than $118,000 in government aid over roughly a 1½-year period.

Authorities say that as she collected benefits, Fozia S. Dualeh falsely claimed that the children’s father, who was gainfully employed, was not financially supporting or living with the family.
The gubmint is giving away money. Get some. There's more:
A search of the home by authorities in late October 2015 led to Dualeh’s husband, and the children’s father, Abdikhadar Y. Ismail, being found in bed under the blankets in the master bedroom, charges said. Men’s clothing was in a dresser, and mail and other documents with his name on them were found throughout the residence.

Messages were left Tuesday for Dualeh seeking her reaction to the allegations. Ismail said, “We are very innocent” but declined to say more.
And as often happens, the lede is buried:
Dualeh’s attorney, Nahid Abuelhassan, disputed the criminal charge and said a civil effort last year by Anoka County to collect the money was thwarted by an appeals examiner.
Stewardship of taxpayer money? Nope. Remember, incentives matter. And if your mission is to give the money away, clawing it back in the case of evident fraud isn't a top priority. There's always more money. In this instance, the fraud was so blatant that there really wasn't much choice. Had Mr. Ismail had the wit to set up a post office box, we might not be reading about this story in the Star Tribune.

One question, though -- are charges due to be filed against Mr. Ismail? One would hope so; it hardly seems sporting to only charge the mother with fraud when both of these individuals were enjoying the largesse of Anoka County. Of course, if you send both parents to prison for fraud, then the kids actually will need a whole bunch of other services. Incentives matter.

1 comment:

Bike Bubba said...

It strikes me that if we were a sane society, we'd insist that welfare recipients identify the father of the children and establish that through DNA, and then the state would go after child support. We've technically limited the "father in the house" rule that made AFDC so horrific, but apparently its vestiges survive here.