Watertown Woman Ordered To Pay $50K For Illegally Receiving Benefits

(Watertown) A Watertown woman who illegally received county and state benefits was ordered yesterday (Tuesday) to pay nearly $50-thousand-dollars in restitution. Ashley Thompson entered a no contest plea to three felony counts of Failure to Disclose Event Effecting Eligibility. Twelve additional felony charges were dismissed but read into the record. In February of 2018, the Dodge County Economic Support Agency discovered a discrepancy with Thompson’s earnings and asked for documentation. She submitted a fraudulent earnings form, reporting her hourly wage and hours worked per week significantly lower than they actually were. The Child Support Agency also reported that Thompson falsely reported that the father of her children did not live at the same residence as her. Law enforcement discovered that the couple had been living together since 2014. During that four-year period, Thompson received thousands of dollars from Dodge County and the state in Foodshares and child subsidy payments. Prosecutors say she knew that her household income was well above the limit to receive any benefits. At sentencing, District Attorney Kurt Klomberg said when an able bodied, employable person takes these benefits fraudulently it is effectively sticking their hand in the pocket of taxpayers to steal money meant to feed the hungry. The 28-year-old was also placed on probation for five years