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Press Release

Six Non-Alaskan Residents Charged for Defrauding the Adult Public Assistance Program

December 8, 2016

Yesterday, an Anchorage grand jury indicted five non-residents for defrauding the Adult Public Assistance Program based on four separate incidents. One other non-resident was charged in Fairbanks. The Adult Public Assistance program is designed as a State supplement to the Federal Supplemental Security Income Program. The Adult Public Assistance program, which is funded entirely with state funds, is only available to Alaska residents.

All of the defendants in these cases were advised during the application process that they needed to contact the Division of Public Assistance (DPA) if they changed their state residence or left Alaska for more than 30 days. According to the allegations, all six individuals are no longer living in Alaska, but continued receiving the benefits without notifying DPA. If found guilty, the penalties could be up to five to ten years in jail.

Allegations Against Naala Cross and Solomon Cross

Mrs. Cross and Mr. Cross began receiving Adult Public Assistance in March of 2013. The Adult Public Assistance benefits were approved due to Mrs. Cross’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. Mrs. Cross and Mr. Cross received an enhanced Adult Public Assistance benefit of $521.00 per month since there are two people in their household. Mrs. Cross and Mr. Cross were advised they needed to contact DPA if they changed their state residence or left Alaska for more than 30 days.

Investigation by the Fraud Control Unit revealed that in October of 2014 Mrs. Cross and Mr. Cross allegedly moved to El Cajon, California. Mrs. Cross and Mr. Cross never informed DPA that they moved to California. This resulted in the alleged theft of $13,063.00 worth of Adult Public Assistance.

Allegations Against Benjamin Dominick

Mr. Dominick began receiving Adult Public Assistance in January of 2012. The Adult Public Assistance benefits were approved due to Mr. Dominick’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. He received the Adult Public Assistance monthly benefit of $362.00. Mr. Dominick was advised that he needed to contact DPA if he changed his state residence or left Alaska for more than 30 days.

Investigation by the Fraud Control Unit revealed that Mr. Dominick allegedly moved to Milledgeville, GA in January of 2015. Mr. Dominick never informed DPA that he moved to Georgia. This resulted in the alleged theft of $7,278.00 worth of Adult public Assistance.

Allegations Against Siriphone Insixiengmay

Ms. Insixiengmay began receiving Adult Public Assistance in January of 2014. The Adult Public Assistance benefits were approved due to Ms. Insixiengmay’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. She received the Adult Public Assistance monthly benefit of $362.00. Ms. Insixiengmay was advised that she needed to contact DPA if she changed her state residence or left Alaska for more than 30 days.

Investigation by the Fraud Control Unit revealed that Ms. Insixiengmay allegedly purchased an airline ticket in November of 2014 and never returned. Thus, she left Alaska less than one year after she arrived. Subsequently, she began residing in Fort Worth, TX. Ms. Insixiengmay never informed DPA that she moved to Texas. This resulted in the alleged theft of $8,726.00 worth of Adult Public Assistance.

Allegations Against Zainab Al Azzawi

Ms. Al Azzawi qualified for Adult Public Assistance in July of 2013. Ms. Al Azzawi was advised that she needed to contact the Division of Public Assistance (“DPA”) if she left Alaska for more than 30 days.

Ms. Al Azzawi is a citizen of Iraq. According to the indictment, she left the U.S. for nearly one year in 2012 and 2013. She left the U.S. for over a year in 2014 and 2015. She left the U.S. again for nearly a year in 2015 and 2016. Finally, she left the U.S. in August of 2016 and has not returned to the U.S. Ms. Al Azzawi did not report her absences to DPA. Ms. Al Azzawi was not eligible for Adult Public Assistance since she not only left Alaska for more than 30 days but also left the U.S. However, Ms. Al Azzawi continued to receive the Adult Public Assistance monthly benefit of $362.00.

Investigation by the Fraud Control Unit revealed that Ms. Al Azzawi allegedly maintained a bank account in the U.S. where her Adult Public Assistance benefits were deposited. Ms. Al Azzawi would spend the funds when she returned to the U.S. Investigation also revealed that Ms. Al Azzawi has maintained residence in Arizona since September of 2015.

This resulted in the alleged theft of $11,774.00 worth of Adult Public Assistance by Ms. Al Azzawi. Furthermore, Ms. Al Azzawi was not eligible for Supplemental Security Income due to her extended stays outside of the U.S. This resulted in the alleged theft of $16,054.00 of SSI by Ms. Al Azzawi.

Potential Penalties

Ms. Al Azzawi faces a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $100,000 and restitution to the State and the Federal government for the scheme to defraud and the theft in the 1st degree charges. Ms. Al Azzawi, Mrs. Cross, Mr. Cross, Ms. Insixiengmay and Mr. Dominick all face a possible sentence of up to 5 years in prison, a $50,000 fine and restitution to the State of Alaska for the theft in the 2nd degree and theft by receiving charges.

All of the charges discussed herein are merely allegations and are not evidence of guilt. All of the defendants are presumed innocent. All of the defendants are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

CONTACT: Assistant Attorney General Charles Agerter @ (907) 269-7945 at the Office of Special Prosecutions.

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