$50K in suspected welfare fraud; Sibley County names 5 accused

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(Gaylord, MN) – The Sibley County Sheriff has released the names of five people suspected of welfare fraud following multiple investigations.

Three households were investigated for welfare fraud between May 2018 and August 2018.  Findings from Sibley County investigators indicated that five people in the three homes were fraudulently obtaining welfare benefits.

According to three press releases from Sheriff Patrick Nienaber:

  • An investigation in August 2018 by the sheriff’s office and Sibley County Public Health and Human Services found that Heidi and Herbert Fischer of Gibbon intentionally failed to report additional household income.  The Fischer’s were paid $9,099.11 in public assistance benefits they were not eligible to receive.
  • A Le Sueur woman was also found to have intentionally neglected to report household income following an investigation in May 2018.  The sheriff’s office says 38-year-old Darcy Reinhardt received $25,098.61 in welfare benefits she wasn’t eligible to receive.
  • A Green Isle couple allegedly scammed the system out of $17,180.71 after an investigation in August 2018 showed they failed to report new employment and household income.  Michelle and Bradley Braunworth are accused of welfare fraud and theft of public assistance.

The total amount the five accused of stealing from county and state benefit programs is $51,378.43.

Sibley County has a Welfare Fraud Hotline, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Residents are encouraged to call 800-627-9977 if they suspect fraud.

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