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District Court, Kandiyohi County, Oct. 23

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Stephen Alan Masse, 47, of Willmar, was arraigned Wednesday on four felony charges of wrongfully obtaining assistance and perjury.

Unconditional bail was set at $15,000. Conditional release was allowed on his personal recognizance. His next appearance is Nov. 3.

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According to the complaint, in June 2007, Masse submitted an application for public assistance to the Kandiyohi County Family Services. He was approved and therefore obligated to report all employment and income. He reported he was a self-employed carpenter and unable to work because of a medical condition.

In November 2007, the agency received an anonymous tip that Masse was working putting up pole barns and bragging about all the money he had been making. An investigation showed he was working for a builder as a subcontractor and was paid a total of $13,105 for his work. The income was not reported to family services.

When interviewed, he claimed some of the checks hadn't been made out to him, that he didn't remember as he has attention deficit disorder and was not taking medication for it and that he was having financial problems and was behind on his bills.

A review of public assistance file, showed he had signed documents in June, September and October 2007 and failed to report his income. As a result, the overpayment from July to Nov. 2007 was $2,340.99.

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