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Bey Used 100 ‘Wives’ To Defraud Welfare

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

3 ex-wives of Muslim bakery founder allege elaborate welfare scam

Matthai Kuruvila, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, November 18, 2007

As the late Yusuf Bey built Your Black Muslim Bakery into an empire of wealth and influence, he also orchestrated a systematic welfare fraud scheme at his Oakland compound, three of his former wives have testified.

By the wives’ sworn account, Bey directed many of the 100 women whom he considered his wives to make fraudulent applications for government aid programs intended to assist poor families, then diverted the benefits to himself.

Bey’s alleged fraud scheme began in the 1970s and continued in some form until his death in 2003, according to the women, who gave depositions in a negligence lawsuit against Alameda County that was settled out of court earlier this year.

The allegations prompted an extensive investigation by county officials, but incomplete county records and the complicated nature of the alleged scheme were key reasons the investigation stalled, and no civil suit to recover money was filed, said Alameda County Counsel Richard E. Winnie.

The revenue – thousands of dollars per month, perhaps more than $1 million over the course of the scheme, testimony in the case suggests – helped inflate the clout of Your Black Muslim Bakery, a business Bey proselytized as an icon of economic self-sufficiency.

The alleged fraud scheme was aided by two employees of the Alameda County Social Services Agency who were also Bey’s sisters-in-law, the former wives testified. A welfare worker who was Bey’s sister-in-law once tipped off the bakery that it might become the target of a fraud investigation, according to the testimony. As a result, the bakery’s households jumped off the welfare rolls in an attempt to avoid scrutiny, a former wife testified.

The depositions and other evidence obtained by The Chronicle allege:

Bey’s wives fraudulently obtained Aid to Families with Dependent Children payments and General Assistance monies that were then diverted into bakery coffers.

Bey family members fraudulently collected Section 8 vouchers – designed to help the poor with rent payments – despite owning houses in the Bay Area.

Bey’s children fraudulently received medical coverage through Medi-Cal, a program for the state’s neediest residents.

In all, roughly 100 women and many of the 46 children Bey is thought to have fathered were involved in the fraud scheme, according to the wives – a category, the depositions say, that included girls whom Bey allegedly raped and impregnated.

The fraud began with a simple fact, according to the testimony: Bey forced his wives to keep his name off his children’s birth certificates. That allowed his wives to hide Bey’s income and qualify for public assistance. Bey, meanwhile, drove a Mercedes, and his business had lucrative contracts to sell baked goods in dozens of places, including Whole Foods, Andronico’s, the Oakland Coliseum and Oakland International Airport.

Two of the former wives who testified are sisters identified in court records as Jane Does 1 and 2, who as children were under the guardianship of one of Bey’s wives during the 1980s.

In the lawsuit, they alleged negligent oversight by the county because they were repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted as minors by Bey, who died at age 67 of cancer in 2003 while awaiting trial on rape charges.

DNA evidence collected by the Oakland Police Department showed that children the women bore as minors were fathered by Bey. The other former wife who testified about the welfare scheme, Esperanza Johnson, was a defendant in the lawsuit who for a time in the 1980s was the guardian for Does 1 and 2. She was eventually dropped from the suit. Yusuf Bey’s estate and the bakery also were dropped from the suit.

The county paid a settlement of $188,000 to the sisters and another alleged sexual assault victim of Bey’s earlier this year.

The three former wives, in their depositions, identified the welfare workers allegedly involved in the fraud scheme as Dana McBurnie (she now goes by Dana Lynn Morgan) and Lisa McBurnie. County records show that Morgan, 50, and McBurnie, 46, have worked for the county since 1981 and 1988, respectively, and still work for the Alameda County Social Services Agency. They each earn roughly $50,000 annually. Their duties include determining who qualifies for welfare

Winnie, the county counsel, said in an interview that the testimony of the wives prompted an investigation into welfare fraud at Your Black Muslim Bakery. Hundreds of hours were spent on the probe, he said, but investigators didn’t find enough evidence to justify a lawsuit against Bey family members to recover the funds. Winnie said incomplete record keeping at the social services agency hindered the investigation…

There is a lot more at the link.

It is all simply unreal.

Especially when one remembers how much support this operation got from local and state and even national (Democrat) officials.

Speaking of which:

The county paid a settlement of $188,000 to the sisters and another alleged sexual assault victim of Bey’s earlier this year.

Why is the county paying for Mr. Bey’s crimes?

We have met the third world — and it is us.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, November 18th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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