Former Lansing School Board Member Charged With Welfare Fraud

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Nicole Alise Armbruster_25871

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Former Lansing school board member Nicole Armbruster is in even more trouble with the law Friday.

She’s looking at two felony counts of welfare fraud. That’s in addition to other financial crimes she was charged with last month.

6 News Nick Perreault spoke with the prosecutor and uncovered information which shows these are just the latest in a history of legal trouble.

“We do see it from time to time, we see people who find themselves in certain circumstances that do this kind of thing.”

Nicole Armbruster now faces two felony counts of welfare fraud over $500.

“The first count essentially means that she received benefits to which she wasn’t entitled and the second count is that while receiving benefits she failed to update to the department of human services in regard to her household income.”

Ingham County’s prosecutor didn’t give a specific amount but believes the crimes took place between October 2014 and February of this year.

These latest charges come just two months after Armbruster was in court facing six counts of uttering and publishing and an embezzlement charge, stemming from her service as vice president of the Lewton Elementary Parent-Teacher Association.

February was not the first time the former Lansing school board member has been before the courts for money issues either.

Court records show back in 2001 Armbruster was convicted of uttering and publishing with a financial device.

“It’s like a credit card or ATM, I’m not exactly sure of the details of that crime, but it has to do with obtaining money to which you’re not entitled.”

“The prior conviction was a felony.”

Those prior convictions, plus the new charges means prosecutors can charge her as a habitual offender.

That means she could get up to four years in prison

“But the reality is what the sentencing guidelines say and the sentencing guidelines are probably nowhere near four years and that’s the harsh reality we have to deal with.”

A reality that has Nicole Armbruster back in court.

Armbruster will be back in court a couple of weeks on the welfare charges.

There’s no a trial date set for the seven counts stemming from the PTA.

6 News has also learned court records show in 2008 under her maiden name, she served three months’ probation after pleading guilty to operating while intoxicated and assault and battery.

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