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DHS employee charged with fraud

7:15 PM, Nov 20, 2013   |    comments
Ciara Selden-Ruffin
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- An employee of Kent County's Department of Human Services faces two felony fraud charges that could land her in prison for up to four years.

Ciara Marie Selden-Ruffin, 30, was arraigned Tuesday on charges she defrauded the state of more than $500.

Her mother, Savator Selden-Johnson, heads the agency's child welfare office in Kent County.

Investigators say Selden-Ruffin did not a report a change in her circumstances that would have decreased her public assistance. The fraud took place over a ten-month period ending in August, court documents show.

Department of Human Services spokesman Dave Akerly said she has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the case. He would not say how long Selden-Ruffin worked for the DHS or in what capacity.

Selden-Ruffin lives in Kentwood and has a seven-year-old son. At the time the fraud allegedly began, the boy's father owed her more than $2,000 in back child support, court records show. A judge last month ordered the father to begin paying Selden-Ruffin $50 a month starting Nov. 30.

She has her next court appearance on December 2.

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