Maine targets elver fishermen in welfare probe

5:27 PM, Nov 3, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Elver fishermen are being targeted in a special welfare fraud investigation in Maine.

The Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing catch records and tax filings from 2010 to 2013 to determine if any eel fishermen who received welfare benefits have failed to report income.

The Maine Sunday Telegram reported that DHHS, the Department of Marine Resources and Maine Revenue Services prepared a memorandum of understanding formalizing an agreement to share information for the initiative, which the DHHS has dubbed the "Elver Project."

The newspaper says it's unclear what prompted the investigation. But fishermen who catch baby eels known as elvers have been receiving $2,000 or more for their catch the past two seasons, with some making more than $100,000 in the 10-week spring season.



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