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Government dependents now storing dead relatives' bodies to take advantage of taxpayer-funded benefits

Taxpayer benefits

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(NaturalNews) As more and more Americans become addicted to taxpayer-funded benefits, many will do anything to keep the money pouring in (and to keep themselves from working harder) — including breaking the law and defrauding the system.

Case in point: Here we have an upstate New York woman who kept her decomposed 93-year-old mother's body for over a year so she could continue collecting her mother's benefits.

Louise Sira, the district attorney for Fulton County, New York, told The Associated Press that 60-year-old Mary Kersting has pleaded guilty to grand larceny, as well as the twisted crime of improper disposal of human remains.

Police had been called to check on the welfare of Hope Fuller, Kersting's mother, and found her decomposed body on December 29, 2014, in her apartment in Gloversville, about 40 miles northwest of Albany. Authorities said she died in October 2013 from unknown causes. Kersting lived in an apartment above hers.

Following her arrest, Kersting admitted she defrauded the government of more than $13,000 in Ruller's Social Security and pension benefits. She also told police she never called anyone to get medical care for her mother or to remove her deceased body. Now she faces jail time when she next appears in court in November.

Abuse of benefits programs rampant

Kersting's case is just one of many instances where Americans — and immigrants — have taken advantage of taxpayer generosity by abusing a variety of benefits programs. Here are a few other examples:

June 2013: The Manhattan District Attorney's office referred to the New York City Human Resources Administration charges that led to the indictment of Dao Feng Lin for multiple felonies. Lin misrepresented his income so he could defraud Medicaid and the food stamp program.

The DA's office was already investigating Lin for other crimes when authorities discovered that he had been receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as well as Medicaid. On his application, he claimed he only had an annual income of between $6,000 and $9,600; investigators found that he had deposited over $470,000 in cash between 2008 and 2012. During the same period, he collected more than $40,000 in Medicaid and food stamps.

June 2015: Instances of fraud can be quite large, too. In June, the FBI arrested 46 doctors and nurses around the country in the biggest Medicare fraud bust on record.

CNN noted that, in total, 243 people in 17 cities were arrested on charges that they were part of a scheme to bill Medicare for $712 million for patient care that was either unnecessary or never provided.

"In one of the most egregious cases, owners of a mental health facility in Miami billed tens of millions of dollars for psychotherapy sessions based on treatment that was little more than moving patients to different locations, said Attorney General Loretta Lynch," CNN reported.

Uncle Sam is a wasteful spender, too

Of course, the federal government is profligate with our money as well. As noted by advocacy group Americans for Prosperity in a recent report, "The federal government spent over $100 billion in taxpayer funds improperly in 2012 — one element of that notorious 'waste, fraud, and abuse' in federal spending that we hear so much about."

Not surprisingly, the bulk of the improper spending is in three of the largest health care programs — Medicare Fee-for-Service, Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicaid. Combined, according to a study by the Mercatus Center, the programs accounted for a mind-boggling $61.9 billion in improper payments. To put that in perspective, the amount is more than the entire 2014 budget for the Department of Homeland Security — real money here.

"With the government's ever-expanding role in healthcare — and the ever-expanding national debt — it's now more important than ever for the federal government to get a handle on its healthcare spending," Americans for Prosperity noted.

When your government is so large and so all-encompassing — and so expensive — it is inevitable that taxpayers will be fleeced often.

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