In the late 1980s, millions of children in America disappeared overnight – but not in the way you think.
Until 1987, any taxpayer could claim to have children as dependents to lower their taxable income without actually having to provide a social security number of the child they claimed to have. Naturally, there were millions of children claimed as dependents who didn’t even exist, as their existence didn’t need to be proven to claim them. When the rules were changed in 1987, seven million children “disappeared,” but don’t worry, none were kidnapped.
Apparently, some are still able to game the system however, as one woman in PA was able to claim welfare benefits to help support her three children…. but there was one problem. They didn’t exist.
A Pennsylvania woman has been arrested for collecting more than $100,000 in welfare benefits for three children that don’t exist, authorities said.
Sabrina Strothers, 23, of Pittsburgh, is charged with two counts each of forgery and making false statements in a welfare investigation and one count of theft by deception, Trib Live reported.
Detectives from the Allegheny County Court District Attorney’s Office said Strothers was pregnant with triplets in 2008, but they were never born.
Strothers told officials that three children — Thomas, Tomalyia, and Tyreik Wilson — were born on Nov. 20, 2008. She collected benefits for them until March, after her cousin reported her to authorities in January, WTAE reports.
Strothers received $89,453 in medical assistance funds, $37,269 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, and $2,073 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grants — totaling $128,795 of illegal benefits from Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services, the New York Daily News reports.
And how did she get away with the fraud? Investigators say that the social security numbers she claimed for her children belonged to people born in 1887, 1945, and 1960. Maybe in Trump’s America, those in charge of our nation’s welfare offices will be able to figure out that there are no eight year olds born in 1887.
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