Welfare fraud claims unsupported by data

Jan. 5, 2009 at 2:27 PM
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ELDORADO, Texas, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Allegations of welfare fraud made against a polygamous sect in Eldorado, Texas, do not appear to be supported by welfare data, officials say.

State officials in Utah, Arizona and Texas have said, based on related data, no resident of the Yearning for Zion Ranch ever received welfare payments, The Salt Lake Tribune said Sunday.

An estimated 600 people live at the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints site.

The data reports come months after six speakers at a July 24 U.S. Senate judiciary committee hearing openly discussed alleged welfare fraud committed by sect members.

Similar allegations were made in messages involving Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the Tribune said.

Unidentified authorities have confirmed sect members did collect some food and medical aid through poverty-related programs outside of welfare, but they told the Tribune those members qualified under program guidelines.

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