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Welfare fraud alleged in St. Croix County

By Mike Longaecker, Hudson Star Observer

A Glenwood City woman faces multiple felonies after being accused of stealing another person’s identity in order to obtain thousands of dollars in welfare payments.

Kyara A. Tollan, 49, appeared Dec. 10 in St. Croix County Circuit Court on one count of public assistance fraud and three counts of identity theft. The alleged fraud spanned from February 2013 until January 2015.

The allegations surfaced after an investigator from the Great Rivers Income Maintenance Consortium — an agency connected with the state’s health services department — reported that Tollan posed as a woman named Doris Helm on Feb. 8, 2013, when applying online for assistance.

According to a criminal complaint:

Helms, who lives outside Wisconsin, said she was issued a traffic ticket in October 2014 by the Wisconsin State Patrol. The driver, Tollan, identified herself as Helms during the stop.

Helms told authorities she spoke with Tollan, who admitted to using her name during the traffic stop. Tollan admitted on Jan. 12, 2015, that she received Food Share, heating and rent assistance from the state by listing Helms as a member of her household.

Helms told investigators she has never lived with Tollan.

In an interview with the fraud investigator and a St.Croix County sheriff’s sergeant, Tolland first claimed Helms was her sister who lived with her and moved out. When confronted with information that Helms has never lived in Wisconsin, Tollan admitted she didn’t live with the woman.

Tollan later admitted to setting up a PIN for accessing Helms’ card and to using the card to buy merchandise at the Wilson Kwik Trip and the Target store in Hudson.

The fraud investigator concluded that total amount of fraudulent activity amounted to $6,633.

Tollan, who was released from St. Croix County jail on a $5,000 signature bond, next appears in court on Feb. 10.