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Moorhead woman accused of nearly $20,000 in welfare, food stamp fraud

MOORHEAD – A Moorhead woman faces felony charges after allegedly defrauding government programs here out of nearly $20,000 in public assistance money, mostly from food stamps.

Alyssha Marie Colton, 27, was charged Friday in Clay County District Court with one count of wrongfully obtaining assistance, a felony.

According to court documents filed with the charges, a financial worker reviewing Colton’s case contacted an investigator with Clay County Social Services in November 2013 and asked them to verify that Colton had no income other than child support, as Colton had reported.

A welfare fraud investigator, Adam Krabbenhoft, discovered that Colton’s husband, Nicholas Colton, worked at Reile’s Transfer and Delivery, and before that had been employed with Heartland Labor.

Krabbenhoft verified employment records for Colton’s husband, a statement of probable cause says.

Between June 2011 and April 2012, Alyssha Colton received $17,233 in overpayments from the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program, or SNAP, otherwise known as food stamps.

The probable cause statement also says Colton received another $2,568 in payments during the same time frame from the Minnesota Family Investment Program, or MFIP, the state’s welfare program.

Alyssha Colton had not reported either source of income, the statement says.

Her first court appearance is set for June 3.