Man arrested on welfare fraud, theft charges


A Bartholomew County man was arrested Wednesday following a months-long investigation about his failure to tell state agencies he was no longer homeless while collecting public assistance, an investigation shows.

Bradley Jay Throop, 54, of Columbus faces preliminary Level 6 felony charges of welfare fraud, theft and perjury after investigators said he received $1,152 in food stamps between January and April.

During that time, Throop had been living with a woman in the 700 block of West McDonald Street in Seymour since the previous August.

When he applied for assistance July 23, 2018, Throop reported he was homeless, and he reported the same status when he reapplied for assistance in December, according to the probable cause affidavit filed in Jackson Circuit Court by investigator Scott Davis with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Compliance Division.

Throop also did not report he and the woman purchased and prepared food together, which would have required her $4,445 monthly income and resources to be reported, according to court documents.

The investigation began March 27 when Davis was told Throop may be committing welfare fraud.

Davis said he found through the investigation that Throop had been living with the woman and had placed a padlock on the door of his room to which only he had the key.

Throop also completed household upgrades and repairs, repaired and sold vehicles, constructed a fence at the residence and more. He also did work on a home the woman owned in Columbus and worked for another man there.

At one point, Throop purchased a Starcraft Meteorite camper that was parked in the woman’s backyard. He said he did not register the vehicle because he "didn’t want people to know what he owned."

During an interview with investigators, Throop denied living with the woman, but records show Throop had called the Seymour Police Department on one occasion to report a suspicious person in the area and gave police the McDonald Street address, Davis wrote.

There also was a report with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department where Throop had listed that address as his own, according to court documents.

Throop was arrested Wednesday on a warrant that had been issued Monday by Jackson Circuit Court Judge Richard W. Poynter.

He was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 4:09 p.m. Wednesday where he was being held on a $1,005 bond.

A Level 6 felony is punishable between six months and two and a half years upon conviction. The advisory sentence is one year.

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