FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A mother collecting public assistance lied to the state about how many children she was caring for and who she was living with while collecting public assistance funds to collect more than $25,000, according to court documents filed in the Allen Superior Court.
The affidavit for probable cause filed Wednesday claims that Nicole R. Griffiths, 35, received $25,217 in public assistance, which she was not entitled to, over the course of four years. Griffiths provided false information from November 2011 through July 2015 to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Family Resources, the affidavit read.
The state’s investigation showed Griffiths received food stamps for herself and her four children. However, the state reported one of those children was living with the child’s biological father during that time.
Court documents show investigators determined the father of three other of Griffiths’ children, Robert Riddles, was living with her while she received benefits, something she had not disclosed. The state looked at Facebook, talked to neighbors, collected BMV and tax records that confirmed Riddle and Griffiths lived at the same residence. Tax records also indicated that Griffiths and Riddles were filing their returns under joint married status.
Griffiths has been charged with two counts of welfare fraud, a felony.