Last year’s spate of welfare fraud cases in Lakewood were covered breathlessly by those media outlets in New Jersey who love to bash Lakewood. I felt it was important then and I do now again to state the obvious: The system is broken. In this day and age, it shouldn’t even exist in the first place.

Welfare was established at a time when hard-working Americans need to get back on their feet and needed a leg up temporarily. No one would even consider defrauding it because the system was not set up to help you for life. People weren’t excited to take part in the system. On the contrary, they were ashamed to. They would try to get on and off welfare as quickly as they could and get back to EARNING their money.

Today, welfare is a free-for-all where people can take too easily. Case in point: A Newark family that managed a local convenience store is accused of taking thousands of unearned dollars through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by exchanging $5 million in benefits for cash.

Juan Perdomo, 59, and his son Jose, 34, have been charged with SNAP benefit fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The elder Perdomo’s wife, Maria Rodriguez, was charged with money laundering conspiracy.

I’m pretty sure this story wont be covered with as much unabashed glee as it would be if there were Lakewood Jews involved, so I thought it was important to let you know... many, many, many people from all walks of life from all races, religions, and ethnic groups steal from the welfare system every single day. I thought I’d let you know. If it weren’t so easy to defraud welfare, no one would.

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