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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie

    Carr: Let Boston Herald check welfare fraud tips

    Carr: Let Herald check welfare tips

    Sunday, May 12, 2013
    Howie Carr

    I have a modest proposal for the Department of Terrorist, er Transitional Assistance (DTA).
    Turn your telephone tip line over to the Herald.

    It has become painfully obvious over the past 18 months that the DTA and Gov. Deval Patrick have zero interest in cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse in the welfare department.

    What could account for this abject dereliction of duty? Professional courtesy, perhaps? More concern for illegal aliens and terrorists than the taxpayers?

    Maybe Deval et al. really do believe that these crimes are but “anecdotes,” as the governor insists upon calling them. Ten percent of the 480,000 entities getting EBT cards turn out to have no current addresses, or maybe they just don’t exist. Whatever, it’s just a little “leakage,” as the governor says with a shrug.

    Given this attitude, it’s no surprise that the DTA tip line, so-called, is where tips go to die.

    Consider the latest outrage last week. A Dedham cop named Bob Walsh participated in the bust of an illegal alien Dominican drug dealer. This undocumented Democrat had been deported once and returned. In his apartment the cops found $65,000 in cash, 50 grams of heroin, 45 grams of cocaine … and an EBT card for his illegal-alien galpal.

    Detective Walsh made his first call to the “tip line” five weeks ago. When the phone didn’t ring, he knew it was the DTA. All it took to finally get action was a front-page story in this newspaper Thursday. First the DTA refused to say anything about the case. After the page-one story appeared, the DTA claimed they’d already referred Walsh’s heads-up to the state auditor’s investigations bureau.

    But the crack sleuth who called Walsh said he’d just been handed the case that morning, after the paper hit the newsstands.

    Now the powers that be claim to be shocked, shocked that illegal aliens are obtaining EBT cards. Maybe they should have driven over to South Boston and asked Auntie Zeituni how it’s done.

    Or they could have spoken to state Rep. Shaunna O’Connell (R-Taunton).

    “It’s pretty obvious,” she said on Friday. “If you don’t have a Social Security number, they give you a ‘placeholder’ number. That means anybody can get an EBT card.”

    Last year the Legislature considered a bill to prevent EBT cardholders from getting cash with their Everything-Free-in-America plastic. How mean-spirited, the moonbats whined, voting down the amendment. Now it turns out the Tsarnaev brothers went on a cash spree with their EBT cards before the bombings.

    Considering that Tamerlan’s occupation is listed on his death certificate as “Never Worked,” where do you suppose he got the money to build his pressure-cooker bombs? Most likely from the very people he killed and maimed — American taxpayers.
    We at the Herald couldn’t possibly do a worse job than the Department of Terrorist Assistance does in policing the non-working classes. These DTA pencil-pushers aren’t watchdogs, they’re lapdogs, and that’s just the way the Democrats, from former welfare-recipient Deval on down, like it.

    Meanwhile, the ACLU of Massachusetts is weighing in … on the high cost of putting photo IDs on EBT cards. It would cost so very much — $4 million. So I suppose the American Civil Liberties Union is even more opposed to spending $275 million yearly on welfare for illegal aliens, the House Republicans’ lowball estimate of the cost to Massachusetts taxpayers.

    In its “alert” to the bleeding hearts, the ACLU says that photo IDs, which are required to do anything in this society except vote and collect free money, would “stigmatize people who receive government assistance,” you know, like the galpals of once-deported illegal-alien Dominican drug dealers with $65,000 lying around their apartments.

    The ACLU continues: “Putting photos on EBT cards will not solve perceived problems of program fraud.”

    Note that adjective “perceived.” In other words, there really isn’t a problem in the welfare department, it’s all just … anecdotes.
    So I beseech the Legislature, let the Herald take over the DTA tip line. We’ll even change the name to something more palatable. How does the Anecdote Line sound? The Perceived Anecdote Line?

    It’s time to bring privatization back to the hackerama of state government.

    Last edited by Newmexican; 05-12-2013 at 10:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    Detective says DTA dropped ball in raid

    Thursday, May 9, 2013
    Chris Cassidy, John Zaremba

    State welfare officials — despite a widely touted crackdown on fraud — never even returned the call of a Dedham cop who reported EBT benefits flowing to a house loaded with drugs and cash.

    Police Detective Bob Walsh alerted the state Department of Transitional Assistance that welfare benefits were being paid to a Dorchester woman whose live-in boyfriend was busted in a raid that netted heroin, cocaine, more than $65,000 in cash, an EBT card and WIC and MassHealth documents in their apartment and cars.

    “I wanted someone to do something — or at least look into it,” Walsh told the Herald. “Finding that much cash in the presence of documents that would suggest the occupants were receiving public assistance ... I felt a report should be made.”

    But five weeks passed without a peep from the state — not even a return call to Walsh on the case of the couple, both illegal immigrants, according to immigration officials.

    A drug task force led by Dedham police raided the couple’s Dorchester apartment in late March and found $65,225 in cash inside a safe, a bureau and a shoe holder, as well as approximately 52 grams of heroin and 40 grams of cocaine, according to police reports.

    Odelio Sepulveda-Guerrero, 34, a native of the Dominican Republic, was arrested, and he was indicted last week on a slew of drug charges, including trafficking heroin and cocaine, prosecutors said.

    But cops report also finding an EBT card with the name of Sepulveda-Guerrero’s girlfriend. The woman asked police to help her “locate the paper work for her WIC program so she could get milk,” according to a police report.

    Cops believe Sepulveda-Guerrero was using the apartment as a home base for a drug-dealing enterprise — using two SUVs registered under aliases used by the woman, according to Walsh.

    At one point during cops’ surveillance, they saw Sepulveda-Guerrero sell cocaine to an undercover officer while he was with “his girlfriend and two young children,” according to a Dedham police report. Cops also found Puerto Rican birth certificates, a Boston Housing Authority Certificate of Homelessness dated 2011, a Venezuelan passport and a Social Security card under a variety of names and aliases.

    So much cash was discovered inside a bedroom bureau that wads of bills were stuck behind the drawers, police photos show.

    Walsh, one of the lead investigators, said he downloaded a suspected fraud report form from the Department of Transitional Assistance’s website and faxed eight pages of information — including police reports and a summary of the case — to the agency on 
March 30 at 8:56 a.m., providing his name and phone number and asking to be called back.

    A spokesman for DTA yesterday declined to say whether it ever received or acted on Walsh’s report.

    “DTA investigates every tip that it receives from members of the public or law enforcement, and refers cases to the auditor’s Bureau of Special Investigations for further action when appropriate,” spokesman Matthew Kitsos said. Meanwhile, Sepulveda-Guerrero pleaded not guilty yesterday in federal court to illegal re-entry of a deported alien in a separate case. He faces up to 20 years in prison because of a prior felony if found guilty of illegal re-entry, prosecutors said.

    The DTA has desperately tried to demonstrate it’s turning the corner after a series of blistering scandals.

    They include overpaying food stamps recipients by $27 million and then shelling out $3.4 million in overtime pay to fix the glitch. A stunning inspector general report found $25 million in EBT money went to recipients who may not have been eligible. And a Herald review uncovered that DTA couldn’t locate thousands of EBT recipients.

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