Wisconsin couple charged with $115k in healthcare, food benefits fraud — 6 highlights

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A Whitefish Bay (Wis.) was charged with fraudulently collecting nearly $115,000 in state healthcare and food benefits from 2007 to 2014, according to Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

Here are six highlights:

1. Mary Carini-Gallagher and Todd Schaller misled the state Department of Health Services about their joint finances and living arrangement.

2. Ms. Carini-Gallagher initially qualified for and received public assistance. However, she did not inform the DFS after her financial and living circumstances changed when she moved in with Mr. Schaller. Mr. Schaller applied for food stamps in 2013 despite receiving a $53,369 severance check from VCNA Prairie Material, a major supplier of mixed concrete.

3. State officials did not detect fraud even through the couple's home, which is worth over $400,000, was featured in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. State officials started their investigation after receiving an anonymous letter in July 2014.

4. Ms. Carini-Gallagher faces counts of public assistance fraud, collecting benefits and failing to disclose events affecting eligibility. Each count carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.

5. Mr. Schaller faces two counts of conspiracy to commit public assistance fraud, with each count carrying a five-year minimum sentence. He also faces a single count of getting less than $2,000 in public assistance benefits by fraud, which has a maximum 18-month prison term.

6. The couple was charged Friday and was released on1,500 signature bonds. Court Commissioner David Sweet set preliminary hearings for Jan. 22, 2016.

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