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2019-09-18 17:24:22

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island husband and wife prosecutors say defrauded the federal government out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in welfare and other benefits over 16 years have pleaded guilty.

Prosecutors say 71-year-old Lens Chappell and 40-year-old Mulin Alexandre, who both used aliases, pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Authorities say from 1998 until 2014 the couple used fraudulent identities to receive an estimated $450,000 in federally-funded benefits they were not entitled to receive, from Medicaid, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services and Social Security.

According to court documents, Chappell assumed a relative’s identity and used a stolen identity for his wife to obtain government documents, including passports. Chappell arranged for Alexandre to come from her native Haiti unlawfully, and changed her name.

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