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$40,536 in welfare fraud alleged

– A Fort Wayne woman is accused of bilking the state out of $40,536.50 in food stamps and child-care benefits.

Daraina P. Belcher, 30, of the 1300 block of Winter Street, lied on applications when she said the father of five of her six children did not live with her, court papers said.

Belcher received $435 in food stamps and $40,101.50 in child-care benefits from October 2008 through September 2011, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Welfare officials and child-care officials said Belcher wouldn’t have been eligible for the benefits had she disclosed that the man lived with her, court papers said.

The father of the children listed Daraina Belcher’s address on employment applications and at the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Daraina Belcher also stated on student enrollment forms that the children lived with both parents, court records said.

She was charged Thursday with two counts of felony welfare fraud but had not been arrested.

jcrothers@jg.net

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