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Couple enters pleas in fraud case; wife claimed husband was her brother

WILLMAR -- A Willmar couple pleaded guilty Monday to amended charges of wrongfully obtaining assistance for receiving almost $26,000 in welfare benefits while claiming that the husband and father of two children was the woman's brother.

Fowsiya Bayle Idd, 28, pleaded guilty in Kandiyohi County District Court to a lower level felony charge of wrongfully obtaining assistance. In return, two additional felony charges of perjury will be dismissed.

Her husband, Asad Bayle Idd, 33, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of gross misdemeanor wrongfully obtaining assistance. In return, an additional felony for perjury will be dismissed. Both entered Alford pleas to the charges and will be sentenced June 16. Under and Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but concedes that there is likely enough evidence against them to warrant a conviction.

The charges were filed last fall.

According to court documents, the couple applied for and received public assistance benefits from Kandiyohi County Family Services from February 2005 to May 2008. It was represented that he was her brother when in fact he was her husband and the father of two children for which she was receiving public assistance.

County officials received an anonymous tip in February that precipitated an investigation. The investigation revealed that the couple were married and had two children in common. Since that information was not reported to Family Services, they had been overpaid benefits of $25,970.84 from March 2005 to May 2008.

Both had signed documents under penalty of perjury that claimed he was a brother to her and that he had no children or that his children didn't live with him.