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Bullhead City Woman Sentenced for Welfare Fraud

(Phoenix, Ariz. – March 20, 2007) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that Rita Moreno, 48, of Bullhead City, has been sentenced to 60 days in jail and ordered to pay more than $54,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to one count of felony fraud in January.

According to court documents, Moreno filed false statements on 10 separate welfare applications over a four-year period. On those applications, she misstated her household composition and family income. She also failed to tell the Arizona Department of Economic Security that she received substantial adoption subsidy payments from California.

The restitution ordered by the Court represents one of the largest judgments assessed against a welfare recipient in this type of fraud case.

In addition to the time in jail, Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner Shellie Smith ordered Moreno to serve three years of supervised probation and to perform 150 hours of community service.

Moreno’s conviction was the result of ongoing efforts by the Attorney General’s Office and the DES Office of Special Investigations to prosecute welfare recipients who commit fraud.