Remember Amanda Clayton? If the name doesn’t sound familiar, the story likely will. She’s the Detroit-area woman who was caught in March collecting welfare despite winning a $735,000 lottery prize. Well, she recently pleaded no contest to a felony in the case and was sentenced this week. The judge decided on nine months probation.
But before we go any further, it’s worth playing the video of Clayton defending her actions when she was first caught. At the time, she didn’t think there was anything wrong with what she was doing, saying “I feel that it’s okay because I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay … I have two houses”:
Attorney Todd Flood says Clayton has repaid the approximately $5,500 in food aid and medical benefits she received. The 24-year-old pleaded no contest to fraud last month and was sentenced on Tuesday.
The Michigan Department of Human Services says Clayton didn’t inform the state about her pre-tax lottery windfall of $735,000 last year. Flood says Clayton did make an attempt but decided not to fight the case and move on with her life.
Gov. Rick Snyder signed a law in April that requires lottery officials to tell the Department of Human Services about new winners.
So where does Clayton go from here? Her attorney says that because she’s a felon, it’s going to be hard.
“It’s Michigan in 2012. It’s difficult to find a job. A felony conviction is a very serious matter,” Clayton’s attorney told USA Today.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.