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Kandiyohi County welfare fraud case is settled

WILLMAR -- The case against a Richfield couple accused of misappropriating an elderly relative's farm income was settled today.

Kathlyn Van Der Bill, 59, must pay a fine and restitution and write a letter of apology, as well as serve a short jail term, for her role in wrongfully obtaining public assistance on behalf of her mother-in-law.

A charge against Duaine Van Der Bill, 68, of wrongfully obtaining assistance will be dismissed once a plea agreement is finalized.

The Van Der Bills are alleged to have fraudulently obtained more than $33,000 worth of Medical Assistance for Duaine Van Der Bill's mother, who was in a nursing home, by failing to report farm rental income on land his mother owned.

An investigation was launched a year ago after Kandiyohi County Family Services received an anonymous tip that Duaine Van Der Bill "was bragging that he was receiving farm rental income from land owned by his parents," court records said.

There is no indication that Van Der Bill's mother was aware of what was happening. She died in a Willmar nursing home in March 2008 at the age of 97.