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$60 Million Paid to Convicted Felons Stirs Up Problems For Michigan

A state audit reveals that more than 3,000 felons have been tending to the disabled and elderly. Seventeen of the cases have been referred to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette for prosecution.

A state audit that showed Michigan paid more than $60 million to convicted criminals over a 29-month period. (Patch file photo)
A state audit that showed Michigan paid more than $60 million to convicted criminals over a 29-month period. (Patch file photo)

The state of Michigan is under fire after paying $60 million in a 29-month period to convicted criminals.

Those on the payroll included convicted felons and people convicted of crimes ranging from financial fraud to homicide, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Low-income adults were enrolled in a program created to keep them from long-term and more expensive care, according to a report released by the state auditor general.

There were 3,800 felons working in the homes of the disabled and elderly, The Detroit News reports.

The report blames unorganized paperwork for the improper payments but the document also reports that the issue could’ve been resolved if staff had identified the problem in a timely manner.

Services worth $83.3 million were provided to individuals who didn’t qualify for them.

Maura Corrigan, director of the state Department of Human Services, told USA Today she didn’t realize the scope of the problems until she read the report, but that she takes the findings “very seriously.”

Similar issues have surfaced in the past.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed charges against 17 individuals associated with the Home Help agency earlier this year and has secured six convictions. In five of those cases, clients had died, yet workers continued to receive payments. In the other case resulting in a conviction, the girlfriend of the worker cashed checks while her boyfriend was in prison, USA Today said.

State laws don’t require criminal history checks for caregivers, according to the report.

Elizabeth Clark June 18, 2014 at 03:04 PM
Insanity !@!
Joseph Borrajo June 18, 2014 at 05:31 PM
Greed is driven by our materialistic society. If there's a buck to be made, the corporate state will corner the market. Building prisons is a growth industry that requires incarcerating a lot of people who have no business being in prison. P3
courtney frazer July 09, 2014 at 06:46 PM
Greed? Insanity? How about regular people simply working at a job. Once an individual has earned a felony, do you realize how difficult it is for them to become gainfully employed? Do you also realize how very easy it is to earn a felony? DUI, (not just for drugs but alcohol too, folks), petty theft, multiple violations of certain vehicle codes, marijuana possession- all subject to the possibility of being a felony offense. I am sure each and every one of you has a friend or family member with a felony on their resume, whether you know it or not. Perhaps these "criminals" were collecting a paycheck for services rendered. Not collecting "improper payments". Where did it say these people had submitted falsified timesheets? Or stolen identities? Where exactly would you allow these people to work upon rehabilitation? Last time I checked, caregivers for the low-income portion of society were greatly needed. This is a job that can be grueling and heartbreaking or very rewarding and could be wonderful opportunity for someone down on their luck to learn humanity, humility and make a living at the same time. These people were employed by a social program created to keep low income elderly and disabled from "long-term and more expensive care". This article references 17 individuals with charges filed against them, (only 6 of whom were convicted), yet it fails to mention if those charged were felons. However, it DOES say "...3800 felons working in the homes of the disabled and the elderly." WORKING is the key word. The fact that they are gainfully employed probably means that they have done their time, paid their debt to society as deemed proper by a jury of their peers, (or the judge that day), and are now getting on with their lives- doing a selfless job that doesn't seem too high in demand. So, get down off of your high horses, use a little common sense, (not to mention have a little empathy), and read between the lines here....... "There but for the grace of God go I".

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