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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 17:34 EDT

Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General Announces January 2013 Welfare Fraud Adjudications

February 22, 2013

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Eighteen Pennsylvania residents pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and/or were sentenced for their crimes during January, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced today.

“Only citizens who honestly qualify for benefits should receive them,” Inspector General Kenya Mann Faulkner said. “Last month, 18 individuals were convicted of wrongly accepting more than $101,000; money that could have been used to help others who truly need assistance.”

“The Office of Inspector General will not tolerate acts of misrepresentation that defraud public assistance programs,” Mann Faulkner added.

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

  • April M. Bair, 31, of Needmore, Fulton County, received more than $17,500 in medical assistance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Bair was sentenced to 48 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.
  • Deborah L. Binder, 47, of New Holland, Lancaster County, received more than $1,050 in SNAP benefits. Binder was ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.
  • Daniel A. Bonardi, 32, of Hazleton, Luzerne County, received more than $1,050 in cash assistance benefits. Bonardi was sentenced to 1-2 months incarceration and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.
  • Tanita R. Chapman, 31, of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, received more than $11,400 in subsidized child care benefits. Chapman was sentenced to five years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.
  • Brian S. Collier, Sr., 43, of Palmyra, Lebanon County, received more than $2,000 in SNAP benefits. Collier was sentenced to 18 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.
  • Lisa R. Daniels, 52, of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, received more than $2,750 in SNAP benefits. Daniels was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.
  • Murrey O. Dickson, 43, of York, York County, received more than $1,200 in cash assistance benefits. Dickson was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.
  • Mykeia S. Epps, 35, of Nashville, Tenn., formerly of Uniontown, Fayette County, received more than $11,550 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Epps was sentenced to one year probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.
  • Joyce A. Hammond, 53, of Chester, Delaware County, received more than $1,900 in cash assistance benefits. Hammond was sentenced to two years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.
  • Victoria A. Hawkins, 54, of Conneautville, Crawford County, received more than $3,850 in LIHEAP and SNAP benefits. Hawkins was sentenced to two years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.
  • Marie C. Knull, 32, of Middletown, Dauphin County, received more than $2,450 in SNAP benefits. Knull was sentenced to 12 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.
  • Ashley L. Main, 25, of Meadville, Crawford County, received more than $9,100 in Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), medical assistance, and SNAP benefits. Main was sentenced to one month incarceration, two months house arrest and seven years probation and was ordered to pay restitution, costs, and fines.
  • Cheryl M. Mitcham, 43, of Centerville, Crawford County, received more than $13,800 in LIHEAP, medical assistance, and SNAP benefits. Mitcham was sentenced to two years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.
  • Alvin Reyes, 44, of Reading, Berks County, received more than $2,450 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Reyes was sentenced to five years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.
  • Loren E. Sallack, 46, of Johnsonburg, Elk County, received more than $4,650 in subsidized child care benefits. Sallack was sentenced to four years probation, community service and was ordered to pay restitution, costs, and fines.
  • Taheerah A. Toogood, 34, of Chester, Delaware County, received more than $5,100 in SNAP benefits. Toogood was sentenced to two years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.
  • Norma Y. Wilson, 42, of Lancaster, Lancaster County, received more than $6,550 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Wilson was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.
  • Darla J. Wolfe, 47, of Uniontown, Fayette County, received more than $3,300 in SNAP benefits. Wolfe was sentenced to 23 months Intermediate Punishment Program 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 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: James H. Timko, 717-787-6835

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General


Source: PR Newswire