Watertown woman sentenced to 5 years probation for public assistance fraud

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WATERTOWN, Wis. — A 28-year-old woman was sentenced Tuesday to five years of probation for fraudulently receiving public assistance.

According to a news release, Ashley Thompson received thousands of dollars from Dodge County and the State of Wisconsin in the form of Foodhsares and Child Subsidy payments from 2014-2018.

During that time, Thompson’s household income was above the threshold for benefit eligibility.

“We have public assistance benefit programs to act as a safety net for those in our community who truly need assistance in a time of crisis,” Dodge County District Attorney Kurt F. Klomberg said. “When an able bodied, employable person takes these benefits fraudulently, it is effectively sticking their hand in the pocket of the taxpayers to steal money meant to feed the hungry.”

In February of 2018, the Dodge County Economic Support Agency found a discrepancy in Thompson’s earnings. When asked for documentation, Thompson submitted a fraudulent earnings form reporting her hourly wage and hours worked were lower than they actually were.

The agency later found out that the father of Thompson’s children had been living in the same home as Thompson since at least 2014.

Thompson’s probation requires her to maintain full-time employment and pay the misallocated money back to the county and state.