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Couple Accused Of Scamming DCF Out Of Thousands

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - A former Department of Children & Families employee and her husband, accused of scamming the state out of thousands of dollars in financial aid, will go before a judge on Thursday.

Clara Builes, 56, was in charge of approving applications for public-assistance benefits. She used her position to steal the identities of several people and received $20,000 in fraudulent benefit cards which she and her husband used to buy food and groceries, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.

Builes and her husband, Gonzalez Builes , 53, face a number of charges including official misconduct, grand theft and public assistance fraud.

The investigation into the Builes' alleged criminal activity began in September 2013, when a woman who had left the state to go back to her native Colombia reported that someone had used her and her children's identities to get government benefits.

The phone number on the application turned out be that of Builes' son. Investigators found that Clara Builes herself had approved the application for the "Economic Benefit Transfer," or EBT, card that can be used like a debit card at supermarkets.

The card was mailed to the Hialeah address of a co-worker of Gonzalo Builes , who later turned it over to him.

Surveillance video from a West Kendall Publix revealed Gonzalo Builes using the EBT card to make a slew of purchases, which totaled over $5,000, according to the Miami Herald. He later admitted to using the ill-gotten card.

Builes reportedly admitted to using EBT cards for two other people whose identities were stolen.

CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.

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