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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 8:28 EDT

Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General Announces May 2012 Welfare Fraud Adjudications

June 18, 2012

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Ten Pennsylvania residents pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and/or were sentenced for their crimes during May, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced today.

“Only citizens who honestly qualify for benefits should receive them,” Inspector General Kenya Mann Faulkner said. “The Office of Inspector General will not tolerate acts of misrepresentation that defraud public-assistance programs. These cases demonstrate our continuing commitment to stopping such activity.”

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

  • Ronald J. Barbin, 44, of Johnstown, Cambria County, received more than $6,950 in Medical Assistance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Barbin was sentenced to 36 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines.
  • Carol F. Bunce, 55, of Bradford, McKean County, received more than $8,050 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Bunce was sentenced to 12 months probation, 120 hours of community service and was ordered to pay full restitution.
  • Tamira J. Cooper, 25, of Steelton, Dauphin County, formerly of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, received more than $1,150 in subsidized child care benefits. Cooper was sentenced to 12 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.
  • Sheila Davis, 44, of Ambridge, Beaver County, received more than $5,250 in SNAP benefits. Davis was sentenced to 5 years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines.
  • Billie S. Eckels, 35, of Belle Vernon, Fayette County, received more than $1,650 in SNAP benefits. Eckels was sentenced to 12 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution.
  • Christopher Genemore, 35, of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, formerly of Glassport, Allegheny County, received more than $14,300 is subsidized child care benefits. Genemore was sentenced to 72 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.
  • Ashley J. Hicks, 29, of Northern Cambria, Cambria County, received more than $47,600 in medical assistance benefits. Hicks was sentenced to 24-84 months incarceration and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.
  • Philip J. Reichard, 55, of Cambridge Springs, Crawford County, received more than $3,100 in SNAP benefits. Reichard was sentenced to 3 years probation and was ordered to pay restitution, costs and fines.
  • Dorothy Rua, 64, of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, received more than $1,950 in SNAP benefits. Rua was sentenced to 6 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution.
  • Tammie R. Thompson, 39, of Altoona, Blair County, received more than $1,100 in cash assistance benefits. Thompson was sentenced to 2 years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines.

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.

Media contact: Melissa K. Yerges, 717-787-6835

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General


Source: PR Newswire