The Biggest Welfare Scams That Failed Miserably

Welfare programs exist to provide financial assistance to those in need, but unfortunately, some people have found ways to take advantage of the system. From fake disabilities to identity theft, these are the five biggest welfare scams that failed miserably.

1. The “Dead” Millionaire 

 In 2012, a millionaire named Robert L. Woodard was discovered to have been receiving welfare benefits in New York for several years, claiming to be disabled and unable to work. However, when investigators looked into his case, they found that he had actually died in 2006 and his body was cremated. Woodard’s wife had been cashing his Social Security checks and had used his identity to collect over $750,000 in welfare benefits over the years.

2. The “Fake” Family 

In 2011, 26 people in Ohio were arrested for running a welfare fraud scheme that involved claiming to be a large family in need of financial assistance. The group had used fake identities and documents to apply for benefits and had collected over $1 million in taxpayer money over several years.

3. The “Phantom” Employees 

In 2014, a Chicago businessman named Clarence Michael Weaver was sentenced to 22 months in prison for defrauding the government by claiming to have employees who did not actually work for his company. Weaver had used fake names and Social Security numbers to collect over $800,000 in welfare benefits and tax credits.

4. The “Invisible” Disability

In 2016, a man in California was caught receiving disability benefits for a supposed back injury that prevented him from working. However, investigators found that the man had actually been running a successful MMA gym and was in excellent physical condition. He had collected over $130,000 in benefits before he was caught.

5. The “Double Dipping” Scam 

In 2018, a woman in North Carolina was sentenced to 7 years in prison for welfare fraud after it was discovered that she had been receiving benefits under multiple identities. She had used fake names and Social Security numbers to apply for benefits in several states and had collected over $3 million over the course of 20 years.


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