State worker charged with welfare card fraud

Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A state Division of Public Assistance employee was arrested Monday on charges of reissuing welfare debit cards to herself and using them between February and May.

Fairbanks police arrested Shelley Addy, 29, at her home and charged her with one count of second-degree theft and six counts of falsifying business records, all felonies.

Fairbanks Police Detective Aaron Ring said the investigation began after Addy was involved in an automobile accident and admitted to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

According to police, Addy drove her car onto a concrete barrier at an intersection May 18 and was charged with driving while intoxicated.

At the hospital, a security guard performed an inventory of Addy's possessions and found five state-issued Alaska Quest debit cards in her wallet.

Addy obtained more than $1,300 in cash and property from several local stores during the four months she used the cards, according to charging documents.

Some of the five cards found in Addy's wallet were returned to the public assistance office by people after they obtained jobs, Ring said.

''A couple of women I talked to are very upset because they had sent the card back,'' Ring said. ''They were using the system as it was intended.''

After the cards were returned, Addy used a work computer to reissue the cards, mail them to herself and use them, Ring said. She would then use the computer to change the address back to the original owners.

Addy reported one card stolen. She reissued it to herself and used it, Ring said.

''It's kind of a tricky thing, but if you look at the computer you can tell,'' Ring said. ''Any auditor would have caught her as well.''

Ring said more cards could be recovered.

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