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Michigan lottery winner charged with welfare fraud

A Michigan lottery winner has been charged with two counts of welfare fraud after collecting food stamps and using public medical assistance despite having won more than $700,000. If convicted of the two felony charges, Amanda Clayton, 25, could face up to four years in prison. WDIV-TV's Steve Garagiola reports.

Michigan Lottery / Detroit News via AP

Amanda Clayton holds her $1 million lottery check. The state says Clayton, who continued to get food stamps, has been removed from the program.

A Michigan woman who hit a $1 million lottery jackpot but kept getting food stamps pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to welfare fraud, NBC station WDIV-TV in Detroit reported.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette earlier on Tuesday had announced two felony charges against Amanda Clayton, 25, of Lincoln Park.

Clayton was arrested Monday. On Tuesday she entered the plea in Lincoln Park’s 25th District Court.

Her defense lawyer, Stanley Wise, told WDIV that he hopes to get the charges dismissed at Clayton’s next court hearing, which is scheduled for April 24.

Read the full story on WDIV-TV's website 

The charges are punishable by up to four years in prison, The Associated Press reported.

After winning the lottery last fall, Clayton decided to pick a $700,000 lump sum payment, before taxes.

The situation was revealed when WDIV interviewed Clayton, who said she thought it might be acceptable to continue using food stamps because she wasn’t working.

"I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn't, I thought maybe it was okay because I'm not working," Clayton told WDIV at the time.  

In March, Michigan’s Department of Human Services took Clayton off the food stamp program.

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