A husband and wife, one of them a Hennepin County employee, will serve prison sentences after defrauding the federal government out of almost $250,000 in benefits.
Robert Coleman, 46, and Yolanda Coleman, aka Yolanda Pittman, 51, fraudulently obtained Section 8 rental housing subsidies, food stamps, Medical Assistance benefits, and Supplement Social Security Income benefits over several years.
The pair became romantically involved when Pittman was employed by the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department (HSPHD), which gave her access to computer databases used in processing benefits for low-income people.
Coleman was a client who was claiming benefits, with the pair marrying in Aug. 2014.
But they proceeded to defraud the government as Coleman continued to receive Section 8, SNAP, MA and SSI benefits despite the pair now living together.
Pittman also acted as Coleman's Personal Care Attendant for several years, with Coleman's MA benefits paying for these services.
The U.S. Attorney's Office of Minnesota said the pair concealed information and submitted false applications to the government. The total amount lost by the government was $248,838.
The pair both pleaded guilty, with Coleman sentenced to a year and a day in prison, and Pittman to six months in prison.