OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma mother says for years, she has raised her children on her own without any assistance from the state or their father.
But now, her paycheck is being garnished and the money is going to her ex.
She also claims her ex is collecting food stamp benefits for the children, who don’t live with him.
Amanda Fellows says her children occasionally see their dad, but they do not live with him.
However, she noticed her paycheck was getting smaller about a year ago.
She says it is being garnished nearly $85 a week for child support.
“This last school year, I did call him and say, ‘Hey, with that child support money you’re getting, why don’t you buy the kids some clothes for school?’” said Fellows.
She says he never responded to that request.
Beyond the child support, she says her ex is also using the kids to get food stamps.
It’s an issue she has tried to report to the state.
“It’s a very serious crime,” said Mark Beutler, with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
Beutler says anyone who suspects food stamp or child support fraud should report it to the Oklahoma Office of the Inspector General.
Those reports should include the name, birthday and, if possible, social security number of the person being accused.
It should also contain information on their employment and their vehicle.
The report also needs to have a detailed description of the allegation being made.
“We have a very aggressive Fraud Protection Unit,”said Beutler
“I’ve never asked for child support from him. I’ve never enforced an order,” said Fellows.
For Amanda Fellows, the whole situation is frustrating but her goal is simple.
Fellows said, “I would like to see the child support stopped off of my check and, honestly, that’s it,” said Fellows. “I don’t want anything else.”
Fellows does not currently receive any state assistance and says she hopes to keep things that way.
We did contact Amanda’s ex. He tells us her story is not true. He says he has had custody until recently and that the children did live with him. He says they only recently moved in with their mom.
DHS officials say reports of fraud can be made to the Inspector General by calling their hotline at 1-800-784-5887.