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The Maryland Comptroller's office has processed some 2 million tax returns so far. But Comptroller Peter Franchot tells Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush that taxpayers should be on the lookout for scammers.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is currently a candidate for governor.

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It might not seem logical, but many are being hit by scams that involve gift cards. AARP reports that one in three adults say they or someone they know has been asked to purchase a gift card to pay a bill or some other obligation. Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush talked with Kathy Stokes, director of AARP's Fraud Prevention Programs, about a surge in gift card scams.

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Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is calling for an independent non-partisan panel of experts to audit the distribution of stimulus funds. Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush talked with the Comptroller who backs the program about his concerns. Franchot has announced his intention to run for governor.

Villages of Noble's Pond Website

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State officials have filed a lawsuit against the developer of a housing community in central Delaware following an investigation into alleged fraudulent practices affecting prospective homebuyers and current residents.

The lawsuit filed Thursday by Delaware's attorney general targets developer Harry Miller III and various entities under his control in the development and management of the Villages of Noble's Pond, an age-restricted "55-plus" community.


NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A former congressional candidate in Virginia says she running for Congress again even though she'll be in federal prison.

Shaun Brown revealed her plans to reporters Wednesday before turning herself into authorities outside a federal courthouse in Norfolk.

The 59-year-old was sentenced last week to three years in prison for defrauding the federal government through a summer meal program for children. She continues to say she's innocent.

Brown was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Virginia's 2nd District on the state's coast in 2016.

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The Delaware Governor got three crime bills from the General Assembly.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that one would tie the criminal sentence for home improvement fraud to the financial loss of the victim.

This would allow prosecutors to seek a prison term of up to eight years for fraud involving $50-thousand to $100-thousand and 25 years in prison for those scams involving more than $100-thousand.

Another measure would provide judges with more discretion on whether to try a juvenile as an adult.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A Delaware auto service contract company under investigation following complaints from customers around the country.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that a recorded message at American Standard Auto Protection in Wilmington informed callers Friday that the company would no longer accept new clients and couldn't maintain obligations to current customers. The message told existing clients that they'd receive instructions on how to file financial claims, while those with active claims were told to contact their financial institutions.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's elections commissioner says she will not provide voter registration data to President Donald Trump's commission on election fraud.

Commissioner Elaine Manlove says after being inundated with calls from concerned citizens and talking to her agency's attorney, she has decided not to provide any voter registration data to Trump's commission, including data that is currently available to the public.

governor's office

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's governor is asking people nominated to fill General Assembly vacancies to undergo background checks before taking their seats.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Gov. Larry Hogan's spokesman, Doug Mayer, says the requests are voluntary. The requests come after recent announcements of criminal cases linked to former and prospective lawmakers. The Attorney General's Office advised House Speaker Michael Busch on Wednesday that the governor can ask for background checks, but can't require them.

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A taskforce has been formed to investigate recent allegations of fraud, mismanagement and embezzlement at Delaware volunteer fire companies.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that state officials believe the limited reporting by the volunteer fire companies has led to corruption.

The paper reports that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been simply vanished.

And high level officials have been involved in those cases that have come to light.

The volunteer fire companies only have to submit an annual report to the State Fire Commission.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed several charges in a bank fraud case against Wilmington Trust and four former top executives, although prosecutors likely will try to reinstate the charges with different language.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's legislative watchdog agency says inadequate review systems and delays in processing have left the state vulnerable to providing millions of dollars in Medicaid benefits to people who aren't eligible.

Staff members of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission unveiled the first part of their two-year review of the state's Medicaid program to lawmakers Monday.

The commission says the state isn't checking to determine whether applicants are telling the truth when they report that they have no income.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A long-delayed pilot study of Delaware's Medicaid program has identified more than $11 million in possible waste, fraud and abuse.
Officials said in releasing the report Thursday that they are recovering clearly erroneous payments and collecting more information on claims needing further review.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Legislative budget writers are continuing their review of budget requests for one of Delaware's biggest government agencies, the Department of Health and Social Services.

Wednesday's agenda includes a discussion of the Medicaid and medical assistance programs, which account for more than half of the entire department's budget.

One concern for lawmakers is how to cut down on fraud and waste in the Medicaid program, which costs state taxpayers about $700 million a year.