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Inspector General files Welfare Fraud charges against 67 in March

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Office of Inspector General (OIG) filed welfare fraud charges against 67 individuals between March 1 and March 31, 2017. These charges will generate a total of $252,176.66 in restitution paid to the commonwealth, as well as additional cost savings as the defendants will be temporarily disqualified from receiving public benefits in the programs they defrauded.

For March 2017, the restitution totals by benefits program amounted to: $179,403.42 for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); $46,968.01 for medical assistance; $20,785.23 for subsidized day care; $4,120 for cash assistance and $900 for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
“This month’s cases range in monetary size from $194 in SNAP trafficking to $12,733 in SNAP fraud,” Inspector General Bruce R. Beemer said. “Every dollar of welfare fraud we catch and return to the commonwealth in restitution is a dollar that can go to a Pennsylvanian who truly qualifies for the assistance and needs it.”
The OIG filed 40 criminal cases of fraudulently receiving public assistance in Pennsylvania that were graded as a felony of the third degree. The defendants are:
  • Sharene Matthews, 29, of Sharon in Mercer County, for $2,395 in cash assistance fraud and $1,536 in SNAP fraud.
  • Jennifer Shindledecker, 39, of Abbottstown in Adams County, for $3,775.02 in SNAP fraud and $2,058 in medical assistance fraud.
  • Elina I. Chepelov, 28, of Erie in Erie County, for $9,582 in SNAP fraud.
  • Sharon A. Sanchez, 52, of East Stroudsburg in Monroe County, for $1,204 in SNAP fraud and $3,145.64 in medical assistance fraud.
  • Ciarah Peters, 28, of Easton in Northampton County, for $5,257 in SNAP fraud.
  • Danett Harr, 33, of Johnstown in Cambria County, for $4,913 in SNAP fraud.
  • Vimary Rios, 32, of Bethlehem in Northampton County, for $4,954 in SNAP fraud.
  • Desiray Kauffman, 29, of Carlisle in Cumberland County, for $11,891 in SNAP fraud.
  • Amanta Beausejour, 40, of Mountville in Lancaster County, for $5,024 in SNAP fraud.
  • Christian Dixon, 36, of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, for $3,284 in SNAP fraud.
  • Rebecca L. Jordan, 34, of Connellsville in Fayette County, for $3,176 in SNAP fraud.
  • Rachel A. Boston, 40, of Reading in Berks County, for $12,733 in SNAP fraud.
  • Sabrina Russell, 38, of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, for $3,990.61 in SNAP fraud.
  • Sundae M. Fletcher, 38, of Darby in Delaware County, for $3,792 in SNAP fraud.
  • Aleia N. McMillan, 33, of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, for $7,222 in SNAP fraud.
  • Keyna Lundy, 44, of Tobyhanna in Monroe County, for $5,078 in SNAP fraud.
  • Danielle Bunch, 41, of Greenville in Mercer County, for $3,681 in SNAP fraud.
  • Josiane Rodriguez, 38, of Glenside in Montgomery County, for $3,066 in SNAP fraud.
  • Diana L. Higinbotham, 32, and Matthew J. Brownfield, 34, of Smithfield in Fayette County, for $8,699 in SNAP fraud and $900 in LIHEAP fraud.
  • Julie P. Brown, 24, of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, for $6,443 in SNAP fraud.
  • Heather Wike, 39, of Altoona in Blair County, for $6,698 in SNAP fraud.
  • Theresa D. Phillips, 33, of Wilmerding in Allegheny County, for $4,254 in SNAP fraud.
  • Nicole Cella, 35, of Irwin in Westmoreland County, for $3,193 in SNAP fraud and $3,740 in medical assistance fraud.
  • Dumas Thompson, 42, of Lancaster in Lancaster County, for access device fraud for withdrawing $1,155.17 in SNAP benefits from someone else’s Electronic Benefit Transfer Access (EBT) card.
  • Paul Reinthaler, 54, of Johnsonburg in Elk County, for $3,104 in SNAP fraud.
  • Tanya E. Keenan-Mack, 37, of Williamsport in Lycoming County, for SNAP trafficking and access device fraud for unlawfully selling her EBT card in exchange for heroin, resulting in the withdrawal of $194 in SNAP benefits.
  • Alyson Hartz, 39, of Myerstown in Lebanon County, for $3,259 in SNAP fraud.
  • Sonia M. Morgan, 53, of Irwin in Westmoreland County, for $4,230.69 in medical assistance fraud.
  • Jennifer L. Grottenthaler, 42, of Irwin in Westmoreland County, for $3,388.62 in medical assistance fraud.
  • Dawna M. Gilvarry, 27, of Jeannette in Westmoreland County, for $3,777.20 in medical assistance fraud.
  • Kimberly O.  McGeever, 41, of Jeanette in Westmoreland County, for $3,318.32 in medical assistance fraud.
  • Michael Karolewics, 36, of Smithton in Westmoreland County, for $4,227.62 in medical assistance fraud.
  • Amy L. Morgan, 37, of Belle Vernon in Westmoreland County, for $8,995.78 in medical assistance fraud.
  • Justin J. Dodson, 40, of Hollidaysburg in Blair County, for $4,091.44 in medical assistance fraud.
  • Adriana M. Gavidia-Cook, 38, formerly of Dauphin County, for $6,048.10 in subsidized day care fraud.
  • Tonya Session, 31, of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, for $7,854.40 in subsidized day care fraud.
  • Walkidia Medina, 28, of Stroudsburg in Monroe County, for $3,087.80 in subsidized day care fraud.
  • Pamela D. Trautman Fairm, 34, of Springdale in Allegheny County, for $3,577 in SNAP fraud.
  • Todd J. Tylenda, 44, of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, for $3,794.93 in subsidized day care 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 21 criminal cases of fraudulently receiving public assistance in Pennsylvania that were graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree. The defendants are:
  • Aaron M. Tighe, 28, and Krystal A. Hartle, 28, of Oil City in Venango County, for $1,725 in cash assistance fraud and $1,256 in SNAP fraud.
  • Sandra Prindle, 44, of Erie in Erie County, for $2,531 in SNAP fraud and $1,022.79 in medical assistance fraud.
  • Maureen E. Jones, 44, of Gallitzin in Cambria County, for $1,563 in SNAP fraud and $2,251.43 in medical assistance fraud.
  • Laura M. Eve, 38, of New Castle in Lawrence County, for $1,792 in SNAP fraud.
  • Shirley D. Taylor, 58, of Chester in Delaware County, for $2,142 in SNAP fraud.
  • Amy L. Kriss, 42, of Du Bois in Clearfield County, for $1,865 in SNAP fraud.
  • Brianna L. McElroy, 27, of Easton in Northampton County, for $1,869 in SNAP fraud.
  • Teresa L. McGinnis, 38, of Columbia in Lancaster County, for $2,043.62 in SNAP fraud.
  • Marquetti M. Jeffrey, 27, of Sharon Hill in Delaware County, for $1,721 in SNAP fraud.
  • Wanda I. Medina, 36, of Reading in Berks County, for $1,706 in SNAP fraud.
  • Tiffany S. Shade, 41, of Steelton in Dauphin County, for $2,137 in SNAP fraud.
  • Barbara Lovell, 42, of Middletown in Dauphin County, for $1,774 in SNAP fraud.
  • Anna Montano, 37, of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, for $2,522 in SNAP fraud.
  • Nicole Small, 37, of Lansdowne in Delaware County, for $1,880 in SNAP fraud.
  • Heidi Melensky, 25, of Saltsburg in Westmoreland County, for $2,153 in SNAP fraud.
  • Lanika T. Mills, 39, previously of Glenside in Montgomery County, for $2,306 in SNAP fraud.
  • Kelly R. Dlabik, 49, of Greensburg in Westmoreland County, for $2,069 in SNAP fraud.
  • Derek Cox, 30, of Warren in Warren County, for $1,950 in SNAP fraud.
  • Laura H. Brogan, 25, of Altoona in Blair County, for $2,720.48 in medical assistance fraud.
  • Sylvia D. Grannison, 54, of Sharon in Mercer County, for $1,541 in SNAP 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 six criminal cases of fraudulently receiving public assistance in Pennsylvania that were graded as a misdemeanor of the second degree. The defendants are:
  • Cassandra Moran, 26, of Lebanon in Lebanon County, for $1,176 in SNAP fraud.
  • Stephanie Danko, 28, of Glen Lyon in Luzerne County, for $1,358 in SNAP fraud.
  • Adolfo Malave, 51, of Reading in Berks County, for $1,358 in SNAP fraud.
  • Shyreeta L. Hammond, 42, of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, for $1,128 in SNAP fraud.
  • Sylvia L. Berry, 42, of Norristown in Montgomery County, for $1,434 in SNAP fraud.
  • Sharice L. Stribling, 33, of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, for $1,394 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 here. Tipsters may remain anonymous.
SOURCE: Office of Inspector General