A day does not usually pass where you don’t read about a long list of shady characters who were convicted of fraud against the government. (Try not to be too depressed. This means that more perpetrators are being caught and prosecuted every day.) Today is no different as we take a look at a rap sheet of Pennsylvania residents who were sentenced for their part in $50,000 of welfare fraud as reported by The Patriot-News.

The article profiles 11 perpetrators and their individual crimes. The largest offender in the bunch illegally racked up $27,550 through cash assistance, day care and food program benefits. (As you might guess, she was not entitled to receive the government benefits.) The 37-year-old was sentenced to five years probation, 40 hours of community service and has to pay full restitution, court costs, fees and fines. As a consequence of her fraudulent acts, she was disqualified from receiving cash assistance and food stamps for up to a year.

The other perpetrators ranged in age from 23 to 46. (Fraudsters are getting younger every day.) Their crimes included receiving undeserved food stamps, cash assistance and food program benefits. Like the biggest offender, their punishment also included probation, community service, restitution, court costs, fees, fines and most were disqualified for receiving welfare benefits for between six months and a year. (How about never receiving welfare benefits again?)

I have a new idea for a reality show. Let’s call it the “Biggest Offender.” The premise of the show would be based on the fraudsters who cost the government and American taxpayers the most amount of money. Viewers would get to vote on the various methods of punishment as retribution for their crimes. (Now we know that would not be fair according to our justice system, but neither is stealing money from law abiding, tax-paying citizens.)

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