Oregon officials probe major welfare fraud case

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PORTLAND (AP) — Officials are trying to figure out how a state agency allowed a couple to collect Oregon welfare benefits while living in a gated neighborhood in Las Vegas.

Donte and Lakisha Muhammed are accused of collecting $219,000 in Oregon benefits for housing, welfare, food stamps and other purposes at multiple addresses before they were indicted in Clackamas County on charges of racketeering, theft and fraud, The Oregonian reported. They are to be tried in February.

The Muhammads listed 10 addresses in Oregon and Nevada since 2007 but lived at just three, according to a state Department of Justice timeline.

In mid-2011, the Muhammads were living in Nevada but collecting benefits at addresses in Hillsboro, Happy Valley and Troutdale, it said.

The Muhammads surrendered in the summer. Lakisha Muhammad and the couple’s three children receive about $1,500 a month in Social Security benefits.

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