The Moocher Hall of Fame highlights people who have some special trait that sets them apart from normal welfare recipients. They may get on the list because they are undeservingly rich, malignantly evil, incredibly entitled, or downright weird.
And now I’m thinking I need a new wing. I’m not sure what to call it, but it’s for the middlemen or wholesalers who engage in industrial-level fleecing of taxpayers.
To give you an idea of what I mean, here are some excerpts from a story in Newsweek about some Chicago-based scamming.
…the grandmother was actually conducting a simple unemployment insurance scam, one that stole almost $7 million from the state of Illinois, attracted a federal investigation and on Monday earned Garcia a four-year prison sentence. Garcia would pass out business cards at gas stations and on some days 10 to 15 people would walk into her office and hire her to file unemployment insurance claims for them, according to court papers filed by federal prosecutors. Many of her clients were Mexican-born immigrants without lawful immigration status or work permits, which made them ineligible for unemployment benefits. …She also kept a list of U.S. cities near the Mexican border, handwritten and neatly organized, and selected from it when filling out a client’s application. …Garcia told the informant she had clients who used false Social Security numbers for five or six years without problems, and that nine out of 10 applications were approved.
I have a couple of thoughts about this story. First, why isn’t she in jail for longer? Second, why isn’t her daughter also in jail?
But most important, why is government so blindly incompetent that it makes us all have Social Security numbers, but then it doesn’t actually have some sort of system to match names and numbers on things like unemployment forms?!?
It’s almost as if government is a big incompetent blob.
Here’s another story about a welfare middleman, though this is also a case where it’s a woman who is ripping off taxpayers.
Convenience store owner Vida Ofori Causey out of Worcester, Mass. was charged in federal court Monday after pleading guilty to $3.6 million worth of food stamp fraud. …She was able to scam the program by buying food stamp benefits from receipts for half the actual value. …As a result, recipients had cash on hand to buy restricted items. The restricted items could include alcohol, cigarettes and even drugs.
Since there’s a long history of fraud in the food stamps program, I’m not surprised that this happened.
Though I’m impressed (in a bad way) about the magnitude. It takes a lot of dishonest recipients combining with one evil woman to produce $3.6 million in fraud.
Last but not least, here’s a really disturbing story about a moocher who very appropriately has been jailed for life.
For 10 years, the group targeted mentally disabled people, luring those who were vulnerable and estranged from their families and locking them inside cabinets, basements and attics, according to prosecutors. The group’s ringleader, Linda Weston, persuaded the victims to allow her to become their representative and began collecting their disability benefits. The victims, prosecutors said, lived in the dark and in isolation, and were fed food laced with drugs to keep them sedated; they were brutally punished if they tried to escape. On Thursday, a federal judge sentenced Weston, 55, to life in prison — plus 80 years — for her role in the scheme. …The case horrified Philadelphia, where in 2011 a landlord discovered four disabled adults locked inside a boiler room, NBC reported. …The group ran the operation in three other states, prosecutors said. …victims were forced to live in attics naked…were fed a diet of Ramen noodles, beans or stew just once a day. …Some were encouraged to have children in order to collect more benefits. …The group stole more than $200,000 in Social Security benefits from victims, some of whom were forced into prostitution.
By the way, all three stories today feature women, so America truly is a land of opportunity for reprehensible people of both sexes. So perhaps the bottom line is that I need a female wing in the Moocher Hall of Fame.
You’ve come a long way, baby!