Friday, August 4, 2017

PA Office of Inspector General Filed Welfare Charges on 66 Statewide; 3 from Schuylkill County

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) filed welfare fraud charges against 66 individuals between June 1 and June 30, 2017.

The restitution owed the commonwealth in these cases totals $206,651.38. Additional cost savings will be realized as the defendants will be temporarily disqualified from receiving public benefits in the programs they defrauded.

For June 2017, the restitution totals by benefits program amounted to: $158,980.22 for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); $30,055.25 for medical assistance; $6,226 for subsidized day care; $10,792.91 for cash assistance and $597 for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

“June’s charges include a case of more than $22,500 in SNAP fraud in Altoona and two cases of more than $8,000 in SNAP fraud in Franklin and Washington counties,” Inspector General Bruce R. Beemer said. “The new Act 29, which the Legislature recently passed and Governor Wolf signed into law, will give us even more tools to fight welfare fraud once it goes into effect in September.”

The OIG filed 21 criminal cases of fraudulently receiving public assistance in Pennsylvania that were graded as a felony of the third degree. The defendants are:

• Priscilla M. Morris, 27, and John F. Barath II, 27, of Brownsville in Washington County, for $3,725.98 in SNAP fraud and $1,436.77 in cash assistance fraud.

• Bobbie J. Green, 43, of Altoona in Blair County, for $22,764 in SNAP fraud.

• Fawn F. Kirk, 49, of Darby in Delaware County, for $6,082 in SNAP fraud.

• Marie L. McCrae, 48, of Bethlehem in Northampton County, for $3,247 in SNAP fraud.

• Zendre N. Powell, 41, of Johnstown in Cambria County, for $3,078 in SNAP fraud.

• John N. Ingram, 34, and Tonya L. Schmidt, 36, of Butler in Butler County, for $6,226 in subsidized day care fraud.

• Barbara Vega, 35, of Allentown in Lehigh County, for $4,438 in SNAP fraud.

• Rosemine Chery, 29, of Wilkes Barre in Luzerne County, for $5,296 in SNAP fraud.

• Ulanda E. Baylis, 41, of Wyncote in Montgomery County, for $7,359 in SNAP fraud.

• Julio L. Berrios, 41, of Manheim in Lancaster County, for criminal conspiracy to commit welfare fraud for $4,378 in SNAP benefits and $4,924.82 in medical assistance benefits.

• Angelica M. Rivera-Perez, 33, of Allentown in Lehigh County, for $3,865 in SNAP fraud.

• Jonathan R. Watson, 33, and Katie A. Watson, 33, of Smethport in McKean County, for $4,281.21 in SNAP fraud and $1,705.74 in medical assistance fraud.

• Isabel V. Fernandez, 32, of Chambersburg in Franklin County, for $8,481 in SNAP fraud.

• Tanya L. Tarpley, 30, of Donora in Washington County, for $8,330 in SNAP fraud.

• Juan A. Leon, 42, of East Stroudsburg in Monroe County, for $2,138 in SNAP fraud and $6,045.38 in medical assistance fraud.

• Melanie L. Hinson, 41, of York in York County, for $3,245 in SNAP fraud and $597 in LIHEAP fraud.

• April L. Stover, 36, of Tyrone in Blair County, for $5,845.50 in medical assistance fraud.

• Jose A. Colon, 40, of Harrisville in Mercer County, for $5,757.96 in medical assistance 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 34 criminal cases of fraudulently receiving public assistance in Pennsylvania that were graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree. The defendants are:

• Amanda J. Stitely, 34, of Hanover in Adams County, for $1,977 in SNAP fraud and $1,767 in cash assistance fraud.

• Mia P. Green, 31, of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, for $1,667 in cash assistance fraud.

• Latoya B. Sawyer, 32, of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, for $1,860.64 in cash assistance fraud.

• Kristina R. Byrne, 44, of McKeesport in Allegheny County, for $499 in SNAP fraud and $1,491 in cash assistance fraud.

• Jennifer M. Evans, 42, of Erie in Erie County, for $3,025 in SNAP fraud.

• Laura L. Herbstritt, 25, of Erie in Erie County, for $3,180 in SNAP fraud.

• Joseph R. Bookshar, 30, of Somerset in Fayette County, for $1,983 in SNAP fraud.

• Sean Edinger, 33, of Erie in Erie County, for $2,119 in SNAP fraud.

• Martina Lowe, 38, of Lititz in Lancaster County, for $1,570 in SNAP fraud.

• Daniel W. Trejo, 35, of Milford Square in Montgomery County, for $2,134 in SNAP fraud.

• Victoria Mendez, 41, of Stroudsburg in Monroe County, for $2,268 in SNAP fraud.

• Danyelle D. Suggs, 28, of Uniontown in Fayette County, for $1,593 in SNAP fraud.

• Nakeeta D. Cooper, 30, of Mechanicsburg in Cumberland County, for $1,991 in SNAP fraud and $524.50 in medical assistance fraud.

• Brandi N. DeNardo, 34, of Ford City in Butler County, for $388 in SNAP fraud and $1,641.27 in medical assistance fraud.

• Nicole M. Kelley, 29, of Hanover in York County, for $1,956 in SNAP fraud.

• Madelyn Gomez, 39, of York in York County, for $1,666 in SNAP fraud.

• Jamila K. Ingram, 32, of Marcus Hook in Delaware County, for $1,933 in SNAP fraud.

• Sharon J. Catalfano, 54, of Johnstown in Cambria County, for $1,769 in SNAP fraud.

• Brandi N. Hoffman, 21, of Lansford in Schuylkill County, for $1,785 in SNAP fraud.

• Rachel Lapinskas, 43, of Tobyhanna in Monroe County, for $2,832 in SNAP fraud.

• James W. Hrbek, 35, of Port Carbon in Schuylkill County, for $2,020.03 in SNAP fraud.

• David Ruiz Arzuaga, 54, of Lebanon in Lebanon County, for $2,134 in SNAP fraud.

• Allison M. Smith, 22, of Irwin in Westmoreland County, for $2,315 in SNAP fraud.

• Stephanie B. Weyandt, 29, of Altoona in Blair County, for $2,401 in SNAP fraud.

• Stefanie R. Lados, 53, of Altoona in Blair County, for $1,733 in SNAP fraud.

• Nicholas A. Robaugh, 35, and Tricia A. Price, 44, of Mount Pleasant in Westmoreland County, for $2,772 in SNAP fraud.

• Natasha N. Bertram, 28, of Hollidaysburg in Blair County, for $1,935 in SNAP fraud.

• Stephanie R. Grimes, 27, of Export in Westmoreland County, for $1,892 in SNAP fraud.

• Darline Chery, 31, of Wilkes Barre in Luzerne County, for $1,768 in SNAP fraud.

• Narita J. Adams, 57, of Punxsutawney in Jefferson County, for $2,577 in SNAP fraud.

• Bryan G. Altman, 31, of Leechburg in Westmoreland County, for $2,051.60 in medical assistance fraud.

• Donald P. Biesinger, 56, of Ford City in Armstrong County, for $1,558.48 in medical assistance fraud.

• Crystal A. Recklaw, 37, of New Castle in Lawrence County, for $1,525 in cash assistance fraud.

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

• Margo Jackson, 36, of New Castle in Lawrence County, for $1,045.50 in cash assistance fraud.

• Christy G. Ohi, 59, of Belle Vernon in Fayette County, for $1,311 in SNAP fraud.

• Denese A. Grim, 53, of Gardners in Cumberland County, for $1,066 in SNAP fraud.

• Joshua L. Freet, 44, of Chambersburg in Franklin County, for $1,156 in SNAP fraud.

Stephanie A. Powanda, 39, of Port Carbon in Schuylkill County, for $1,326 in SNAP fraud.
• Jennifer L. Floyd, 26, of Hanover in York County, for $1,428 in SNAP fraud.

• Cathy A. Banks, 60, of York in York County, for $1,022 in SNAP fraud.

• Shawn A. Schmitz, 41, of Johnsonburg in Elk County, for $1,064 in SNAP fraud.

• Dawn R. Wert, 41, of Freedom in Beaver County, for $1,059 in SNAP fraud.

• Jessica M. Pflugh, 34, of Monaca in Beaver County, for $1,489 in SNAP fraud.

• Walter E. Torres, Jr., 41, of Lebanon in Lebanon County, for $1,136 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.

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.

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