A Philadelphia man using multiple names and addresses recently pleaded guilty and was sentenced for fraudulently obtaining and using public assistance benefits totaling $359,262.04, over nearly an eight-year span.
Gregory William Miller, 64, a/k/a Bruce Barnes, Norman Benson, Douglas Davis, Milton Faulkner, Bernard Hart, William Johnson, Louis McBride, Kenneth Mills, Vincent Jay Nelson, and Reginal Quick, of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, used multiple identities and addresses to fraudulently receive $70,526.78 in cash assistance, $55,407.18 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, and $233,328.08 in medical assistance benefits from June 13, 2001 through April 30, 2009.
The Office of Inspector General’s investigation began in September 2007 after receiving a referral from the Philadelphia Police Department, and culminated with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office filing felony welfare fraud charges against Miller in 2013 following his arrest and extradition from Georgia. Miller was also charged with multiple counts of identity theft, forgery, and tampering with public records.
Miller was sentenced by Judge Rayford A. Means, to a minimum of 15 months and a maximum of 30 months confinement at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Graterford, followed by five years probation. Miller was also ordered to pay $50 per month toward restitution, costs, fees, and fines. He was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
“I am proud of the diligent work performed by the Office of Inspector General, in cooperation with the Philadelphia Police Department, and the Philadelphia District Attorney to bring this individual to justice,” Inspector General Michael A. Sprow said. “Welfare fraud is not a victimless crime, and will not be treated as such.”
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 (DPW).
The Office of Inspector General works with DPW’s county assistance offices statewide to identify suspected cases of public assistance fraud and with local district attorneys to bring the cases to prosecution.
Those 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.