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Brunswick County DSS worker investigated in largest fraud case in years

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The Brunswick County Sheriff's Department is investigating the largest fraud case they've seen in years. A former Brunswick County DSS worker was arrested earlier this week for obtaining property under false pretenses. Investigators say April Stucks used the personal identification of people living outside of North Carolina and submitted their information to obtain public assistance benefits. Detectives say she then cashed the checks herself at a small grocery store in Wilmington. Five others were involved in the scam. Brunswick County detective Vince Saponaro explained, "She would sign them up for benefits that they were not eligible for, people who weren't Brunswick county residents, and in exchange she would ask for half of the money back." The checks Stucks allegedly cashed totaled more than $100,000 in state and federal funds. Stucks was in Brunswick County jail, but immediately posted her $50,000 bond. She will make her first appearance in District Court tomorrow.

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Fraud

I wanted to get into social work when I was going to school. The chance to help those that needed it and such. I had a few friends in the foster program who's foster parents were amazing but were not getting help when they needed it most. So I started interviewing the people that work in that line, it was then I heard from all of them and seen what went on behind closed doors. It was scary, I seen them fighting for the chance to help people, and all they were getting was calls and letters accusing them of ruining families and all of these things that they were doing to help. Now hearing about the fraud I feel sorry for thse workers that are getting all this bad hype for a few. Remember when you were younger in school or at home one kid was bad the rest were punished same thing. It seems these "fraud" employees were tired of not getting the thanks or the pay that should have been. That does not mean I think it is/was right for them to do this. And they should get charged fully with this. I always heard "If you can't handle the heat get out of the kitchen". There are people every where every line of work that will do this. It just scares me to think that of the people that do get hurt with scams and fraud. I feel sorry for those that have been hurt by this. I personally changed my mind on that line of work after a week of interviewing different social workers, I could not handle a thankless job like that. I applaud all those that can do the job and congratulate those that do it honestly. Kat

DSS workers and fraud

Unfortunately this is not the only case of a social worker committing crimes. A social worker from Wilkes County was arrested and goes to court later this month for Felony Obstruction of Justice for forging my husband's name to a safety assessment that never occurred. We made the report of abuse and when we complained because they were breaking statutory law and not investigating our report of child abuse they came after us and forged documents to cover up their law breaking. Another Wilkes County employee was arrested for interfering with an arrest and hiding her sons drugs under her feet during his arrest. This woman is a CPS Supervisor for the Wilkes County Department of Social Services. For more on these stories and others across this state and country, visit my blogs at http://stopcorruptdss.wordpress.com or standupspeakup-leesa.blogspot.com The department of social services needs to be held accountable for the wrongs that are occurring within a system that is supposed to protect children. The system is broken and children are dying because of it.

People still amaze me.

I'm still amazed at how the work of an entire agency can be tarnished by the acts of very select minority. I would suggest that anyone wishing to comment on how corrupt Social Services is (as a whole), make sure they are at least informed enough on subjects such as eligibility requirements and FEDERAL guidelines governing Food Stamps and Medicare / Medicaid. People don't realize just how hard social services employees work to try and qualify those who really need assistance; and how much it really affects them as workers when they are unable to approve someone they KNOW desperately needs help due to (more often than not) state or federal guidelines over income limits. The system is not fair: it rewards those who choose not to do for themselves and punishes those that take responsibility for themselves, but find themselves in the position of needing a temporary helping hand. That much is true. The issue of fraud, however, has plagued the welfare system in general since it's inception. Human Health and Services statistics show that the largest portion of Medicaid Fraud is actually committed by those receiving the services. It's actually quite rare for a social worker or case worker to commit the type of fraud that occurred in Brunswick County. Fraud that, in my opinion, was probably due more to poor management oversight by Agency supervisors than a pervasive culture of fraud within the Department of Social Services. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but an informed opinion is more constructive, and is worth much more in finding solutions, than ignorant ramblings and misstatements of fact. The next time you see or speak to a member of social services, I would suggest you thank them for everything they do that you DON'T see. The time, effort, and energy they put into trying to help people make their lives better deserves our respect and admiration. Yes, it's their job...but remember, social services is a SERVICE...not an entitlement. They are there to help anyone that might need help...and they feel just as upset and angry when they cannot help those that really deserve the help. I would encourage everyone to remember this before categorizing the whole of the system (and all its employees) as corrupt.

fraud

i totally agree with your comment and it seems to me that you are a dss worker that has been affected by the criticism due to this recent fraud case if you are doing what you are suppose to be doing let God handle the rest even down to the needy people. God tells us the poor will always be amongst us so take a chill pill and pat yourself on the back for doing your part

Brunswick County DSS worker

This re-forces that it not the people stealing from the Department of Social Service but their own employee. Another way, the Department of Social Service as a whole is stealing from the people when the Department is hiring family member. For instance, the Department of Social Service in New Hanover County is called a family orient work place. That’s why so much stealing is going. There are others that have not been caught yet. What about the ones stealing food stamps.

Brunswick County DSS

I am thinking applying with Brunswick County DSS. Can someone email me with 1st hand knowledge of the agency?

DSS

WOW is this why dss workers have such harsh attitudes when you go to them for help and you need it? Think even deeper POLITICIANS do this everyday, Ron Hewitt did, Mike McIntyre did it, BUSH throught his whole second term to help his oil buddies richer by jacking up pgas prices befor his term was over, used car dealers do it, inside traders do, hell Martha Stewart even did it, AIG's CEO's did it by screwing the government over for a bail out with our DAMN tax paying money, the gov of ILL is doing it, and most of all everyone that doesn't have children do the same thing every year around this time. HINT BUYING OTHER PEOPLE CHILDREN FOR THEIR EARNED INCOME CREIDT or trying to keep from paying high taxes. We must never forget that money is the root to all evil and HE WITHOUT SIN SHOULD CAST THE FIRST STONE!!!!! Sorry if I have offened someone that fits one of those shoes.

"Bush" gas price hikes?

You are as delusional as they come. If one man, even the President (Bush), is capable of raising gas prices, he must really be letting down what you call his "oil buddies" with the massive decline in oil and gas prices of late. Why would he do this? Boy-oh-boy, his "oil buddies" must be really mad at him now. Come on, get a clue. Market forces, OPEC, developing countries (i.e. China) and overall consumption affect oil prices (not our President). So if you lay the blame at his feet for rising oil prices, are you now praising him for the lower prices? I hope so, otherwise, get an education or don't attempt to comment on U.S and world affairs as such a moron.

bcdssworker

Its not like New Hanover or Brunswick county is well populatedabout 50% of the people are either friends from growing up together or family.

ASSISTANCE

THIS IS WHY PEOPLE THAT NEED HELP CAN'T GET IT!!! I HOPE THE OTHERS INVOLVED HAVE TO PAY BACK EVERY PENNY, ALONG WITH THE GREEDY APRIL STUKES. I HOPE SHE AND OTHERS REALIZE THAT THIS IS MONEY TAKEN AWAY FROM NEEDY FAMILIES AND CHILDREN (SOME OF THESE PEOPLE CAN'T EVEN GET ASSISTANCE)!

are you living as right as

are you living as right as you sound

People who need benefits and

People who need benefits and qualify for them are constantly turned awaybecause you make a dollar or quarter over in income. You see why now don't you because the workers have plans of there own. I hope they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

DSS EMPLOYEE ARRESTED

I AGREE WITH THE STATEMENT. MY HUSBAND AND i ARE BOTH ON DISABILITY, BUT TO GET HELP WITH MEDICAID OR FOOD STAMPS, WE MAKE $3.00 TO MUCH TO GET ANY HELP. WE CAN'T EVEN GET HELP WITH OUR PART D MEDICARE. THE ONLY WAY WE CAN GET HELP IS FOR US TO LEGALLY SEPARATE. WE MAY HAVE TO IN ORDER TO SURVIVE

DSS

How did she even get that far? I had to take drug tests to work at dollar general, noone is looking into their work?