State Alleges Felony Theft Charge in PFD Investigation
June 16, 2005
(Anchorage) - On Tuesday the Department of Law filed charges against Sabrina M. Ruffin** of Lawton, Oklahoma, alleging one count of theft in the first degree and four counts of unsworn falsification, stemming from an investigation of permanent fund dividend (PFD) fraud.
According to charging documents, Ruffin, 41, left Alaska in 1998, but continued to file for Alaska PFDs every year since 2000 for herself and her children. The state alleges that Ruffin falsely claimed that she was "in Alaska today", and falsely stated that she was "not gone from Alaska for more than 90 days total".
On each of the questioned applications, Ruffin used her parents' Anchorage address, rather than her true Oklahoma address. The applications were submitted from the Alaska address. Ruffin received over $29,000 in Alaska PFD payments between October 2000 and October 2004."
Ruffin's arraignment is currently scheduled for June 21, 2005 in Anchorage. She will be allowed to appear telephonically.
"Lying to get an Alaska PFD check is a crime - and often a felony level crime," said PFD fraud investigator Dan Boone. "People should realize that the PFD program does have a criminal investigation department. Those who lie to get dividends should know that they will be investigated, and they should expect to be taken to court."
"The Department of Law's Special Prosecutions Office supports the Department of Revenue's efforts to protect the dividend program," said Assistant Attorney General James Fayette. "When the PFD investigators detect fraud, it will be aggressively prosecuted."
Members of the public that may have any information regarding suspected fraudulent PFD applications are urged to place an anonymous call to the "Fraud Tip" line, at 907-465-2654 b(in Juneau) or (907) 269-0385 in Anchorage. For additional information regarding the Ruffin case, please contact Assistant Attorney General James Fayette, Office of Special Prosecutions, Anchorage, at 907-269.-6250.
** The charges in this case are merely an accusation. Defendant Sabrina M. Ruffin is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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