A Michigan woman who became a poster child for welfare fraud when she continued collecting food stamps after winning a $1 million lottery last year has been found dead of an apparent drug overdose.
Amanda Clayton was just 24 when she was photographed with a giant check, dated Sept. 11, 2011, and wearing a broad smile. But her newfound celebrity quickly soured after the state said she had continued to receive $5,500 in food stamps and other benefits despite the winnings. Clayton pleaded no contest to fraud in June and was given six months' probation.
Her case went public in March after she was confronted by a Detroit television station, WDIV, and admitted collecting food stamps. "I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn't, I thought maybe it was OK because I'm not working ... I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay," she said, adding that she also had two houses to maintain.
Clayton was found dead in a friend's house Saturday in Ecorse, outside of Detroit, police announced, adding that an autopsy would determine if it was a drug overdose as suspected. The Associated Press quoted her attorney, Todd Flood, as saying that Clayton, the mother of two young children, had difficulties handling the notoriety that followed the revelations of her welfare case.