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Thursday, March 15, 2012

9 Sentenced To Probation For Welfare Fraud

Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General Announces February Welfare Fraud Adjudications

Nine Pennsylvania residents pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and/or were sentenced for their crimes during February, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced today.

"These cases should send a strong message to all the citizens of Pennsylvania: if you try to beat the system, you will lose," Inspector General Kenya Mann Faulkner said. "I hope these prosecutions will deter others who may be thinking of committing welfare fraud."

The following individuals were prosecuted and sentenced for fraudulently receiving public assistance benefits:

Melissa M. Bush, 37, of St. Marys, Elk County, formerly of Weedville, Elk County, received more than $14,200 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Bush was sentenced to 7 years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.

Angelita J. Cruz, 47, of Bethlehem, Northampton County, received more than $1,350 in SNAP benefits. Cruz was sentenced to 12 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.

Dawn A. Decker, 44, of Milroy, Mifflin County, received more than $2,250 in SNAP benefits. Decker was sentenced to 12 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.

Sandra T. Pickering, 52, of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, received more than $1,050 in subsidized child care benefits. Pickering was sentenced to 10 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.

Amy J. Reed, 39, of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, received more than $1,250 in SNAP benefits. Reed was sentenced to 12 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.

Lucinda D. Reyes, 26, of Monongahela, Washington County, formerly of Sunbury, Northumberland County, received more than $1,200 in cash assistance benefits. Reyes was sentenced to 1 year probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.

Juanita Robertson, 44, of Lancaster, Lancaster County, received more than $17,100 in SNAP and subsidized child care benefits. Robertson was sentenced to 6-23 months incarceration, 7 years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution.

Bonnie K. Shank, 56, of Milroy, Mifflin County, received more than $3,200 in SNAP benefits. Shank was sentenced to 2 days incarceration, 9 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.

Sonia I. Vargas, 36, of Reading, Berks County, received more than $26,100 in subsidized child care benefits. Vargas was sentenced to 5 years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.

The Office of Inspector General's Bureau of Fraud Prevention and Prosecution is responsible for investigating welfare fraud and conducting collection activities for programs administered by, or contracted through, the Department of Public Welfare.

The Office of Inspector General works with the Department of Public Welfare and county assistance offices statewide to identify suspected cases of public assistance fraud and with local district attorneys to bring the cases to prosecution.

Anyone found guilty of welfare fraud could face a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, fines up to $15,000, mandatory restitution, and program disqualification.

The Office of Inspector General also relies on tips from concerned citizens. To report suspected fraud, call the Welfare Fraud Tipline at 1-800-932-0582. Callers may remain anonymous.

Visit the Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General online at www.oig.state.pa.us .

11 comments :

Anonymous said...

They can spend years in Potter County finding welfare fraud.

Anonymous said...

despite what you probably believe 2:20, just receiving welfare is not in itself fraud.

some people actually need it

Anonymous said...

Definition of welfare fraud--

Obama supporter!!

Anonymous said...

Hell to the democrats and their leader the food stamp king welfare is better than having a job!

Anonymous said...

The Office of Inspector General also relies on tips from concerned citizens. To report suspected fraud, call the Welfare Fraud Tipline at 1-800-932-0582. Callers may remain anonymous.


THEN WHY DO THEY TELL YOU IT IS ILLEGAL TO SPY ON YOUR NEIGHBOR AND TO MIND OUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS AND NOT OUR NEIGHBORS?

Anonymous said...

I still believe there is just as much fraud in the people who are collecting disability and then are out working on the side taking jobs away from people who do that work for a living. How do they get away with that??? If they as so disabled let them go back to work and put that money back into social security so that the people working will have something when they retire.

Anonymous said...

Well the first article on this reported they would be punished to the full extent of the law. The full extent would involve jail time. Guess probation will encourage this to not happen again. I would like to know how many of these are repeat offenders.

Anonymous said...

Probation and repeat offenders are encouraged-- makes more money for the system.

Anonymous said...

I will never turn anyone in again! I tried one time and was basically told to mind my own business!

Anonymous said...

Poster 9:21 & 8:49 are right, and why is it? Are the inspectors too overweight and find it too hard to get around to investigate a fraud lead?

Anonymous said...

To 4:30 PM. You are an idiot! What a statement to make! Just gotta pick on our President don't you? I suppose he is the reason you are brain-dead?!?