Boy, 13, fathers baby with girl, 10

A Romanian Gypsy woman whose 10-year-old daughter just gave birth in Spain says she’s delighted to have a new granddaughter and doesn’t understand why the birth has shocked anyone — let alone become an international sensation. Spanish authorities have released few details about the case to protect the girl’s privacy.

But in comments published Wednesday, her mother told reporters the baby’s father is a 13-year-old boy who is still in Romania and is no longer going out with her daughter…

The 10-year-old girl and her baby daughter plan to stay in Spain because the young couple separated, said the girl’s mother.

She also said she didn’t understand the attention the case was generating because she and her daughter are Romanian Gypsies, or Roma, and their custom is to allow girls to marry young even though that’s against the law in Romania…

The girl moved to Spain about three weeks ago, her mother said, and her baby was born in a public hospital last week in the nearby city of Jerez de la Frontera. There were no complications during the birth, and the 10-year-old and her baby are doing fine, her mother said…

But arranged “marriages” between teenagers are relatively common among Roma, who make up about 1.5 million of Romania’s 22 million people. Families “marry off” daughters when they reach puberty, with the “husband” usually being a couple of years older. The marriages are not recognized by the state.

Roma girls are often not encouraged to pursue a full education, and Romanian authorities do not widely enforce education laws that require children to attend school until age 16.

There are different cultures and then – there are different cultures.

I don’t know what current understanding is about maturity, decision-making, for early teens, pre-teens. But, then, it’s not especially clear what decisions other than low-level endocrine systems were involved. And that doesn’t seem to matter either.

Having sex, having children at any age seems to be OK. I wonder if having an abortion is a choice?I wonder if having a choice – is a choice?

Thanks, Mr. Fusion

California welfare debit cards used for million$ at casino ATMs

California welfare recipients using state-issued debit cards withdrew more than $1.8 million in taxpayer cash on casino floors between October 2009 and last month.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order requiring welfare recipients to promise they will use cash benefits only to “meet the basic subsistence needs” of their families. The order also gave the state Department of Social Services seven days to produce a plan to reduce other types of “waste, fraud and abuse” in the welfare program.

The moves came after The Times reported Wednesday that officials at the department failed to notice for years that welfare recipients could use the state-issued cards to withdraw taxpayer cash at more than half of the tribal casinos and state-licensed poker rooms in California. The state initiated the debit card program in 2002.

Casino withdrawals, which represented far less than 1% of total welfare spending during the eight months for which the department released data, averaged just over $227,392 a month.

Schwarzenegger has already ordered the vendor that runs the state welfare system’s ATM network to prohibit the cards from working at casino machines…

No one noticed this was going on for eight years?

As foolish and unproductive is the practice of gambling away your welfare check, the failure of bureaucrats to keep an eye on spending is an example of how useless most “government jobs” become in the United States.

Welfare fraud as simple as swiping a debit card

Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Under Operation Cash Exchange, the FDLE, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, targeted 16 stores believed to be responsible for $3.5 million in fraud over the past year. Retailers allegedly pocketed cash from a federally funded assistance program.

Besides Wayne Stumbo, two others were arrested at Big Daddy’s Quick E Driveby in Tampa, Florida, where Stumbo worked as a clerk. They were identified as store owner Curtis Walker and employee Tabitha Wood.

Agents say Big Daddy’s was a front for illegal transactions that cost Florida taxpayers millions. “If you multiply nationwide, it has to be in the billions of dollars,” said Ken Tucker, the FDLE’s assistant commissioner…

At first glance, they look like your typical convenience store purchases — beer, cigarettes, maybe even cash back — all obtained with the swipe of a debit card.

But if your debit card has government assistance money in its account, these transactions are illegal. And, if you’re a store owner or manager who accepts the card for these items, you could face arrest and jail time…

Law enforcement agents say the fraud involved the use of government debit cards, called Electronic Benefit Transfer cards. The cards can be used only to purchase food. They can’t used to buy liquor or tobacco, and they can’t be converted to cash.

According to investigators, the scam works like this: A store clerk swipes a debit card and then uses a keypad to punch in the dollar amount. So, if a clerk punches in a transaction for $200, he or she might hand a customer $100 in cash. The store owner makes a quick but illegal profit, and the customer has cash to buy whatever he or she wants…

It’s a colossal cost to state governments,” said Russ Fernandes, the FDLE’s chief of public assistance fraud.

Some of the stores were small, with barren shelves of expired food, according to investigators. The FDLE believes that many were set up to defraud the government of money.

RTFA. Lots of anecdotal evidence, views. Just another example of how some sleazy bastards can figure out how to turn a trick from someone else’s unfortunate bag.

Electronic transfers has simplified processes for the crooks as well as government.