ND Man Accused of Scams in Renville, Hennepin, and Ramsey Counties 18 Aug 17

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A North Dakota man is accused of scamming Minnesota public programs out of more than $300,000.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that 45-year-old Elfonzo Shelby, of Fargo, is charged in Ramsey County with identify theft and theft by swindle.

Authorities say Shelby used both fake and actual identities to scam the Minnesota Department of Human Services general assistance and food stamp programs in Hennepin, Renville and Ramsey counties for more than six years.

As part of the scheme, investigators say Shelby sent phony surveys to inmates at a correctional facility in Mississippi. In exchange for filling them out, Shelby promised each $45. Then he used the information to apply for government benefits that he pocketed.

Shelby’s public defender, Terrance Hendricks, could not be immediately reached for comment.