Tuesday, September 14, 2010
"A Warren County woman was sentenced to jail this morning, Sept. 13, for cheating the welfare system out of thousands in federal aid.
Teri Rivarde, 47, of the 3000 block of Woodhaven Drive, Franklin, was convicted by a Butler County jury in July of grand theft and two counts of tampering with records, for receiving $14,000 in aid and medical services while her husband was working a $100,000 a year job and the couple was living in a house on a golf course, according to Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper.
Butler County Common Pleas Judge Patricia Oney sentenced Rivarde today to six months in the county jail and five years probation. She was ordered to make restitution of about $12,500, with $5,900 already being collected from the defendant.
Rivarde’s jail term was stayed until Monday, Sept. 20. After serving her time, the judge also ordered that she serve 500 hours of community service at Shared Harvest food pantry. Rivarde moved to Butler County after Hurricane Katrina and received aid to get the family back on its feet. After moving to Warren County, she still represented to officials that she was living in Butler County.
Before sentencing, family members spoke on Rivarde’s behalf. She also apologized and asked that Oney not take her away from her family. Rivarde completed forms multiple times, knowing she had income and knowing that she had left Butler County, according to prosecutors.
Last week, readers of Bad Lawyer know I traveled to Washingotn, D.C. to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. Driving in from Maryland, we passed the buildings housing Fannie Mae, and a gigantic corporate office palace for the Bank of America, and the old cynical me thought, "Welfare Queens."
I know that this is the negative and cynical Bad Lawyer sounding off, but society's real welfare queens have marble hallways, silver table settings, and crystal chandeliers. Dayton's Teri Rivarde, who most assuredly committed a crime, was a piker compared to the Welfare Queens who live large in the corporate and big law offices of our beautiful land.