Former DHS Staffer Pleads Guilty To Welfare Fraud

Posted at 1:10 PM, May 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-20 13:19:27-04

LANSING,Mich. — A Southeast Michigan woman charged with fraudulently obtaining state financial assistance while she worked at the Department of Human Services has pled guilty to two felonies.

46 Year-Old Dawn Simmons, of Belleville, Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count of False Pretenses ($1,000 – $20,000), and one count of Fraudulent Access to a Computer, both five-year felonies, before Judge Archie C. Brown in Washtenaw County’s 22nd Circuit Court.

As part of the plea agreement, Simmons is required to pay $19,832.74 in restitution to the state.

From September 2009 through February 2012, Simmons abused her position as an Eligibility Specialist to process false claims for assistance in her brother’s name, who she listed as a resident at her home address. Investigation revealed the brother never lived at the address. Simmons filed the claims on co-workers’ computers without their knowledge after logging in with their usernames and passwords. Simmons ultimately collected $19,832.74 in fraudulently obtained benefits, which she used for to pay rent and utilities at her apartment.

Simmons is scheduled to be sentenced on June 26, 2013.