For Immediate Release: December 09, 2016
Contact: Mia Garcia (602) 339-5895 or Mia.Garcia@azag.gov
Flagstaff Woman Indicted
Accused of Collecting Benefits in AZ and Canada
PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced the State Grand Jury indicted Elizabeth Anne Trushel on charges related to welfare fraud. Trushel is accused of stealing more than $9,000 in benefits from the State of Arizona, using her dual citizenship to receive public benefits from both the United States and Canada. The Arizona Department of Economic Security and the Canadian Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation investigated this case.
The State Grand Jury indicted Trushel on the following charges:
- Two counts of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, class 2 felonies
- Theft, a class 3 felony
- Forgery, a class 4 felony
- Taking the Identity of Another Person or Entity, a class 4 felony
- Two counts of Fraudulent Schemes and Practices, class 5 felonies
- Unlawful Use of Food Stamps, a class 6 felony
- Application Fraud, a class 6 felony
- Theft, a class 6 felony
In July 2013, Trushel moved from the Canadian Province of British Columbia to Flagstaff, AZ. Shortly after moving to Flagstaff, Trushel began receiving nutritional assistance (food stamps) through the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) and Medicaid coverage through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). Trushel is accused of providing false documents to DES showing that the Canadian Government had discontinued giving her any form of public assistance. Meanwhile, Trushel allegedly received public assistance from both the Canadian Government and the State of Arizona. The programs administered by DES and AHCCCS do not allow an individual to receive simultaneous benefits from another jurisdiction.
Trushel allegedly received $9,367.95 in benefits from the State of Arizona and during this same time she received $18,841.12 in benefits from Canada.
All defendants are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law.
For a copy of the Indictment, CLICK HERE.