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A Lincoln Park woman who collected welfare benefits despite winning a big lottery prize pleaded no contest to fraud Thursday and likely will be sentenced to probation.
Lawyers for Amanda Clayton, a 25-year-old mother of two, were disappointed that state prosecutors would not settle the case without a felony charge.
"Ambitions often get in the way of good justice," Todd Flood told The Associated Press outside court.
There is no dispute that Clayton collected about $5,500 in food aid and medical benefits after winning a $735,000 lottery prize, before taxes, last year. After Clayton was confronted by TV station WDIV, the state charged her with fraud and said she should have informed the Department of Human Services about her windfall.
Clayton, who bought a new home and a car with her winnings, has said she felt entitled to the welfare handout.
The Michigan attorney general's offices says Clayton waived her preliminary examination in Lincoln Park that was scheduled for Tuesday. The hearing determines whether there's enough evidence for a case to go to trial. She's now due for June 5 arraignment in Circuit Court in Detroit.
A message was left Tuesday with a lawyer for Clayton.
Amanda Clayton's attorney John Dakmuk is not saying if a deal is in the works with the state attorney general to keep his client free, but he said restitution has not been ruled out.
"I can't get into too much of the details of the case but we are looking forward to putting this case before the court and before the public. There's a lot more to this case than's been alleged at this point," Dakmuk told reporters.