Americana: Miss Otis Collects

Arlene Otis, 30, a graduate student in criminal justice at the University of Illinois, was in the Criminal Courts Building in Chicago last week to interview judges for a term paper when she was suddenly arrested. The charge: illegally collecting $118,456 in welfare benefits.

Otis first applied for benefits legally, under her own name, in 1969. Inspired by success, she later applied four more times, in each instance using a different name and a different address. One of the aliases Otis used was Greta Stewart, the name of an actress who once appeared in the national company of the musical Hair.

The problem...

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