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Monday, June 12, 2017

Sixty-four Pennsylvanians were charged with welfare fraud in April

HARRISBURG, Pa. —Sixty-four Pennsylvanians were charged with welfare fraud in April, according to the state’s Office of Inspector General.

“The restitution owed the commonwealth in these cases totals $287,659.80. Additional cost savings will be realized as the defendants will be temporarily disqualified from receiving public benefits in the programs they defrauded,” reads a statement from the OIG.

“April’s cases range from SNAP benefits trafficking in exchange for cash to buy heroin in Williamsport to $52,909 in combined SNAP, medical assistance and LIHEAP fraud in Warren County,” Inspector General Bruce R. Beemer said. “Our investigators are zealous in pursuing all cases, regardless of the amount, because it’s taxpayer money and stopping fraud means making those benefits available to Pennsylvanians who truly need them.”

The following information is from the Office of the Inspector General:

Marquita D. McKnight, 32, of Philadelphia, for $3,071 in SNAP fraud and $3,015 in cash assistance fraud.

Carlos J. Reales, 36, of Peckville in Lackawanna County, for $3,084.76 in cash assistance fraud.

Shatisa Rainey, 27, of Tobyhanna in Monroe County, for $3,665 in SNAP fraud and $1,523.36 in cash assistance fraud.

Amanda J. Pioquinto, 34, of Ephrata in Lancaster County, for $6,326 in SNAP fraud.

Rhonda S. Gingell, 46, formerly of Franklin County, for $2,005 in SNAP fraud and $3,621.24 in medical assistance fraud.

Swapan Datta, 60, of Bensalem in Bucks County, for $3,488 in SNAP fraud.

Royce M. Stanley, 37, of Lancaster in Lancaster County, for $5,199 in SNAP fraud.

Marceau Azor, 39, of Lancaster in Lancaster County, for $5,199 in SNAP fraud.

Andrea M. Savage, 41, of Johnstown in Cambria County, for $5,012 in SNAP fraud.

Samantha Dickerson, 44, of Perkasie in Bucks County, for $12,763 in SNAP fraud.

Samuel W. Oldham, 36, of South Fork in Cambria County, for $3,064 in SNAP fraud.

Kathryn E. Magyar, 47, of Johnstown in Cambria County, for $3,468 in SNAP fraud.

Michele Czilinger, 64, of Moscow in Lackawanna County, for $2,211.00 in SNAP fraud and $2,986.66 in medical assistance fraud.

Misty R. Hunter, 35, of Tidioute in Warren County, for $37,767 in SNAP fraud, $11,842.98 in medical assistance fraud and $3,299.34 in LIHEAP fraud.

Maria Y. Rodriguez, 37, of Lancaster in Lancaster County, for $11,794 in SNAP fraud.

Curtis A. Cottrill, 30, of West Middlesex in Mercer County, for $386 in SNAP fraud and $4,296.82 in medical assistance fraud.

Stephanie Dezzi, 32, of Nazareth in Northampton County, for $3,440 in SNAP fraud.

Robin Rice, 37, of Titusville in Venango County for $4,451 in SNAP fraud.

Nekisha Fuller, 39, of Chester in Delaware County, for $5,355 in SNAP fraud.

Elizabeth A. Tucker, 36, of Bradford in McKean County, for $3,310 in SNAP fraud.

John D. Lichtenberger, 48, of Bradford in McKean County, for $3,310 in SNAP fraud.

Amanda Stafford, 35, of Greenville in Mercer County, for $561 in SNAP fraud and $5,075.10 in medical assistance fraud.

Miriam V. Ocasio, 32, of Allentown in Lehigh County, for $6,556 in SNAP fraud.

Yovanka S. Mercado, 42, of Lebanon in Lebanon County, for $3,565 in SNAP fraud.

Charlene Dorsey, 42, of Altoona in Blair County, for $8,073.41 in medical assistance fraud.

Randy R. Hall, 27, of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, for $12,380.77 in subsidized day care fraud.

Alina R. Hall, 34, of York in York County, for $12,380.77 in subsidized day care fraud.

Laura E. Miller, 32, of Schuylkill Haven in Schuylkill County for $6,423.64 in subsidized day care fraud.

Jewel Williams, 37, of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, for $26,038.79 in subsidized day care fraud.

If convicted, the maximum penalty they face is seven years in prison and a fine of $15,000, plus a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program they defrauded.

The OIG filed 26 criminal cases of fraudulently receiving public assistance in Pennsylvania that were graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree. The defendants are:

David R. Smith, 58, of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, for $2520.23 in SNAP fraud.

Sherri M. Jester, 46, of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, of $1,672 in SNAP fraud.

Christine Connelly, 30, of Pipersville in Bucks County, for $469 in SNAP fraud and $1,102.50 in cash assistance fraud.

Nicole A. Welch, 41, formerly of Pottsville in Schuylkill County, for $1,758 in SNAP fraud.

Michael A. Latorre, 21 of East Stroudsburg in Monroe County, for $1,516.56 in cash assistance fraud.

Gary E. Williams, 39, of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, for $1,941 in SNAP fraud.

Jodi M. Ford, 39, of Quakertown in Bucks County, for $2,862 in SNAP fraud.

Zuleyka Montes-Santiago, 30, of Lancaster in Lancaster County, for $1,722 in SNAP fraud.

Tracy M. Williams, 43, of Morrisville in Bucks County, for $2,945 in SNAP fraud.

Jamie L. Napolitano, 34, of Tamaqua in Schuylkill County, for $2,409 in SNAP fraud.

Janette Grandinetti, 33, of Morrisville in Bucks County, for $1,992 in SNAP fraud and $1,651 in subsidized day care fraud.

Talibah Burnett, 29, of Sharon Hill in Delaware County, for $2,758 in SNAP fraud.

Julie A. Motz, 30, of Greensburg in Westmoreland County, for $1,918 in SNAP fraud.

Dain G. Boozel, 46, of Mifflin in Juniata County, for $1,872 in SNAP fraud and $724 in LIHEAP fraud.

Lilisbeth M. Lopez, 28, of Allentown in Lehigh County, for $2,573 in SNAP fraud.

Barbara N. Rivera, 40, of Allentown in Lehigh County, for $2,913 in SNAP fraud.

Debra A. Rutkowski, 59, of Jessup in Lackawanna County, for $1,744 in SNAP fraud.

Antonia M. Waterman, 47, of Tobyhanna in Monroe County, for $2,051 in SNAP fraud.

Michael Growalt, 24, of Marcus Hook in Delaware County, for $1,940 in SNAP fraud.

Monica L. Cole, 35, of York in York County, for $2,003 in SNAP fraud.

Brandy DiClaudio, 37, of West Middlesex in Mercer County, for $2,978 in SNAP fraud.

Kayla Hritz, 24, of Bolivar in Westmoreland County, for $2,039 in SNAP fraud.

Nicole Myers, 36, of Manor in Westmoreland County, for $1,533 in SNAP fraud.

Wanderous C. Gilliam, 40, of Albrightsville in Carbon County, for $2,472 in SNAP fraud.

Magdala Etienne, 46, of Lebanon in Lebanon County for $2,710 in SNAP fraud.

Dana R. Pryor, 25, of Williamsport in Lycoming County, for selling $106.96 in SNAP benefits on her Electronic Benefit Transfer Access (EBT) card in exchange for cash to purchase $30 worth of heroin.

If convicted, the maximum penalty they face is five years in prison and a fine of $10,000, plus a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program they defrauded.

The OIG filed 5 criminal cases of fraudulently receiving public assistance in Pennsylvania that were graded as a misdemeanor of the second degree. The defendants are:

Nancy Nunez-Gonzalez, 51, of Allentown in Lehigh County, for $1,106 in cash assistance fraud.

Kim Valentin, 49, of Yorkana in York County, for $1,451 in SNAP fraud.

Michele L. Hull, 46, of New Oxford in Adams County, for $1,376 in SNAP fraud, $1,156.68 in medical assistance fraud and $ 600 in LIHEAP fraud.

Vanessa L. Miller, 29, of Tamaqua in Schuylkill County, for $1,499 in SNAP fraud.

Amanda L. Hudler, 33, of Lancaster in Lancaster County, for $1,067 in SNAP fraud.

If convicted, the maximum penalty they face is two years in prison and a fine of $5,000, plus a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program they defrauded.

The OIG filed three criminal cases of fraudulently receiving public assistance in Pennsylvania that were graded as a misdemeanor of the third degree. The defendants are:

Lynsey M. Russell, 25, of Kittanning in Armstrong County, for $772 in SNAP fraud.

Edward D. Sturgeon, Jr., 34, of Sagamore in Armstrong County, for $748 in SNAP fraud.

Ashly M. Lynch, 28, of Sagamore in Armstrong County, for $748 in SNAP fraud.

If convicted, the maximum penalty they would face is one year in prison and a fine of $2,500, plus a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program they defrauded.

In addition, Eric F. Jewell, 36, of Guys Mills in Crawford County, pleaded guilty on May 8 to a misdemeanor of the third degree for fraudulently obtaining $970 in SNAP benefits and $900 in LIHEAP benefits. He was ordered to pay full restitution, a $300 fine and court costs and will be disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for 12 months. His charges were filed on April 7.

To report suspected fraud please call the Welfare Fraud Tipline at 1-800-932-0582 or visit the OIG website at www.oig.pa.gov. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

36 comments :

Anonymous said...

BE SO PROUD

Anonymous said...

WHY IS IT YOU OR ANY OTHER NEWSPAPER HAVE TO POST SAD BAD TIMES OF PEOPLE?? THEY ARE ALREADY IN TROUBLE AND YOU MAKE IT KNOWN TO EVERYONE THEIR BUSINESS!!! LIKE THE BRADFORD ERA POST PEOPLE WHO ARE BEHIND ON THEIR TAXES AND WHAT NOT >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> I BELIEVE IT'S NO ONES FREAKIN BUSINESS AND I CALL YOU ARE VERY INMATURE IN DOING SO AND I THINK IT SHOULDN'T BE POSTED OR BE IN THE NEWSPAPERS

Anonymous said...

Yep & there's certainly a lot more than what has been mentioned, the men make me sick, getting welfare & abusing it & some of the women & boyfriend abusing it, etc, I've worked since I was 16, before & after school & just retired at 66!!!!! There's our tax money & I'm sure they've dipped into our SS...

Anonymous said...

This is public information. I think it's immature/ lack of education that you're not aware of the freedom of information act

Anonymous said...

If they didn't rip-off and steal from the very system that is there to help them, then their names wouldn't be posted. Just a bunch of thieves and they choose to be so.

Anonymous said...

4:50:00 PM EDT
Sounds like someone on this list may have been family. They deserve to be outed for this type of behavior.

Anonymous said...

They should be posted, it's our tax money paying for every bit of their welfare!!!!! I work tooooo....Flippin hard just to give my hard earned money away to dead beats!!! it's time they're EXPOSED!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Post 4:50 seriously? its news and that's what "Newspapers" and Blog sites do! What bothers me about this story is that "they will temporarily lose their benefits" WHAT? They should never get benefits for anything again!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Post 4:50 When people use taxpayer money to buy drugs, it's already our business, and I hope they are made to pay every penny back

Anonymous said...

Just make them all go to work. Give them a PennDot job, they'll fit right in.

Anonymous said...

64?

If they looked even remotely hard they would find 64 thousand.

Bill Davis said...

4:50 are you serious? ?? That's hard earned money of hard working people like myself. However you say it's none of our business. I say drug test all of them and take away benefits for those abusing it. Bottom line.

Anonymous said...

This is a drop in the bucket compared to the billions in corporate welfare fraud that YOUR money is supporting.

Anonymous said...

And this is why they should enforce drug testing

Anonymous said...

They should revisit some of the people that were put on disability!!

Anonymous said...

Look at the ages of most of these bums.. majority are between 25 and 45. The welfare program is one of the main reasons this country is in trouble. It's becoming generational, there's no incentive to get off the program, have more kids get more $$, better health benefits than most of us.. if they are receiving $ from the federal or state government and capable of working they should be working in the parks or for the highway system. Something needs to change or we are in trouble as a society.

Anonymous said...

Sad bad times, ha. Break the law, pay the price!!

Anonymous said...

That's so true 9:44, I just get so disgusted & upset with this welfare system, they need to be tested for drugs, they need to made to work for the $$$ they recieve, they're taking every cent they can for us that work hard for our money, when we run out, they'll get $ooooooooo, they depend on the govt to hand out every free/bee they can get, we have to pay for ours & plus theirs so 4:50 I have no clue where you're coming from unless you yourself is living off the ssystem but we're sick & tired of supporting these lazy bums, we have all we can do to keep ourselves & our children's heads above water, we've earned every cent we live on & its a slap in our face to give our hard earned money to these lazy young people who are just as capable to work a job as we are !!!!
Simplytired of it!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry...how would working at PennDot make them fit right in??? It's a job with benefits that come right out of their payroll, they are randomly drug tested (unlike welfare recipient's) and take classes for operating certain machines and get cerified and have CDL's. Let's not forget they plow snow off the roads all hrs of the day/night so it's safe for everyone else to travel. Road way workers also have to deal with idot drivers not paying attention like drugs or alcohol or on their phone.

Not all PennDot workers are "lazy" as some would say (how do I know all of this you ask...well my husband works for said job and at this moment his retirement papers say his earliest age to retire is 57) BTW my little family of 4 does not qualify for ANY assistance. We work and pay our taxes just like every other hard working citizens. Its called a good work ethic....just thought I'd throw some real facts your way. ��

Anonymous said...

Help control the pest population, have your welfare rats spayed and neutered! Problem solved!

Anonymous said...

Post, 4.50, you seem to have an attitude Problem! Why shouldn't we as the victims of these crimes know who the criminals are, I don't get It! Steal from us and hide the Crime? What makes me mad are, many younger women in our area, collecting welfare, with more and more children and yet living with a boyfriend making a large amount of money, the women don't reveal that income. There is so much of that in our Area! If someone needed a lift up for a few weeks, especially with children, that's different, they can get jobs just like we all have and then walk away gratefully from the system. This fraud has gone on for decades, and will continue as long as the system allows people to sit home, collect all they need and enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

Don't you all know that its Obama's fault!

Anonymous said...

These people wouldn't feel forced to steal if they were given enough to live off of in the first place.......hahahahahaha.....lolololololol.

Anonymous said...

If these people commit a crime, then that also should be posted. If you don't want your name in the paper, then don't commit a crime.

But, seriously, this is a drop in the bucket compared to corporate welfare. That is where the big bucks is.

Anonymous said...

I've been without medical insurance for the past 9 years because the cost would ruin me financially. Easier solution would be to just quit working full time and apply for Medical Asst. Shouldn't there be incentives to working full time?

Anonymous said...

Okay, yeah freedom of information act if people wanted to know they can go digging. Being put in the paper and ruining their whole chance of living a normal life in a small town is gonna be gone. Especially if it's a small town.

Anonymous said...

Wished they would catch the ones in Tioga and Potter County!

Anonymous said...

First of all let me say that my family are not recipients, no welfare, no food stamps. My wife and I do, however have free medical for life as we are both veterans, one of us a wartime vet. You are welcome. I have a problem with the thinking that all people receiving benefits are just lazy, drug using miscreants. While this may be true for some, it is obvious from this report that it is a small percentage of the total. Originally designed for people who had run out their unemployment as a stop gap until the next job, was a great idea for welfare. Unfortunately, it has become a victim of fraud and abuse by a small, but very visible minority, which is usually the only reports we get as to the efficiency of the welfare system. We don't hear about the folks who had to get benefits for just a couple of months while job hunting, do we? We don't hear about the people who had to get food stamps, just while they were laid off, and then went back to work, do we? When you keep beating the same tune on the same drum, you are going to attract the same crowd. Want people off welfare? Bring back manufacturing to America, we don't make anything anymore, except excuses for why we don't make anything. Try to buy an American made product, they are rarer than hens teeth these days. Don't bitch about people just trying to survive, but when fraud is found, prosecute to the fullest!

Mr. Front Porch said...

Back in the day when you fell on hard times you struggled to get what was needed to take care of yourself and/or your family. You kept looking for a job no matter what it was. THERE WAS NO ONE TO HELP YOU BUT FRIENDS FAMILY AND GOOD NEIGHBORS. Now, the government is dolling out money for almost everything, and taking away the COMMON SENSE of the people who take it. There is no consequence for making stupid decisions. Don't live beyond your means and don't have children you can't take care of. LIVE RESPONSIBLY!

Anonymous said...

@7:49, having their name in the paper isn't what ruined their chance to live a normal life in a small town. CHOOSING to commit a crime is.
Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

Poster 7:36 it's called pride

Anonymous said...

4:50 you do the crime you do the time especially when it comes to our taxpayers money. I've worked hard since I was 12 now I'm retired and it upsets me when I see people that are very capable of working sucking our money out of the government.

Anonymous said...

The smart ones go on disability, then it cant be taken away because they have been determined to not be able to contribute to society thru physical labor. Disability is 'forever'! Smart

Anonymous said...

After all the comments about how people on "assistance, welfare, the dole" as just being lazy and are "working the system." People do need to remember that for everyone of those "people" there is one that truly needs it.Ones that had a good job and paid into the system, but because they got downsized,their jobs moved overseas,got sick,hurt or their spouse did and now no longer have the means in which to care for themselves or their families the way they were able to and now need help. Also there are people that are stuck in minimum wage jobs, not because they want to be but they may not have a choice. Not all can afford college to get a degree that now almost all entry level jobs that pay over minimum request if not demand one. And yet there are lots with degrees that are stuck working at Walmart or asking would you like fries with that order because of the simple fact that the jobs just aren't there. So don't stick up your nose at those who do, at least they have a job. The schools need to be required to teach all students real skills not just the 3 R's, and not just keep pushing them through the system until they drop out or graduate functionally illiterate. Back in the day there used to be apprenticeships and other programs that taught the skills needed to get a job that paid well. People used to help others when they needed help, its what a community did, they helped one another and looked out for each other because it also helped the community as a whole. And yes I will admit that I have been on assistance when I have lost a job or two... but it was a stepping stone until I could get another job. People, Sh*t happens ! ... at anytime you could get stuck needing the very help others are getting and you look down your nose at and call lazy.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree!! People that don't abuse the system and really need the help might get turned away because these ppl are racking in the dough and using it for unnecessary or illegal things. Most everyone else that gets paid has to take a drug test to do so, why dont they? Another thing, if ur on unemployment you HAVE to look for a job everyday and track your progress or you will lose your benefits. Why is it ok for ppl that have been 3rd generation welfare recipients to get assistance without lifting a finger?

Anonymous said...

Welfare was never intended for people who could work but CHOOSE NOT TO. It was designed to help the people working n needed alil extra help. But because I work they use that against me. Getting a second job is out of the question as it just goes to the sitter. I have had a job since i was 17 yrs old. Full time at 18 and never stopped working. I am still employed and ever since my husband left me and our 2 children i have been forced to ask for help. Since i work i only qualify for $43/month while my neighbor who doesn't report her boyfriends income, gets almost $600 in foodstamps. We are literally eating ramen noodles and they carry in steak and soda. I have to work as much overtime as i can when my parents will help with the kids so i can afford groceries. I have never collected until the year and i have paid in for 13 yrs but not allowed to collect on some of what i paid in? Im now ungreatful because that $43 Is our milk, bread, and butter but it's frustrating n embarrassing. I feel ashamed for even having to ask for help. I seriously do not understand how people can just sit back and collect. I am looking for better employment just so i can get out of the system. It's just sad the people who could really use the help can't get the help but the people who abuse the sysem have no trouble getting it. Sad and disgraceful.