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89 indicted in Texas welfare fraud crackdown

September 24, 1997

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) _ Eighty-nine people were indicted on charges of illegally obtaining $345,000 in welfare benefits, including 20 accused of using Texas birth certificates to draw welfare for children born in Mexico.

The state said it was the largest number of welfare fraud indictments issued at one time in the Rio Grande Valley.

The grand jury indictments remain under seal because arrests are pending.

Most of the indictments involve common welfare fraud allegations such as providing false information about income or assets to obtain benefits, Department of Human Services spokesman Michael Uhrbrock said.

The birth certificate cases stemmed from a four-year federal investigation of midwives who sold Texas birth certificates to parents of Mexican-born children. Some of the parents used the birth certificates to illegally obtain food stamps and Medicaid for their children, authorities said.