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State Inspector General accuses 177 Pennsylvania residents of welfare fraud

HARRISBURG — The Office of the State Inspector General announced Monday it has filed welfare fraud charges against 177 people accused of committing acts of fraud between January 1 and March 31 of this year.

Of the 177 people charged, 21 are from Central Pennsylvania.

The suspects owe a total of $886,055.54 in restitution, the OSIG announced. Other cost savings will be realized as the defendants will be temporarily disqualified from receiving public benefits in the programs they’re accused of defrauding, the office added.

“Our office remains vigilant to protect the integrity of our vital public assistance programs,” said State Inspector General Bruce R. Beemer. “We are proud to work with our partners in law enforcement across the Commonwealth to help those in need and stop those who cheat.”

The OSIG filed 90 cases of fraudulently receiving public assistance that were graded as felonies of the third degree.

Of those 90 suspects, 21 are from Central Pennsylvania.

They are:

  • Tiffany Palmer-Chase, of York in York County, for $7,016 in SNAP fraud.
  • Sandra Perez, of Chambersburg in Franklin County, for $27,322 in SNAP fraud and $41,708.93 in Medical Assistance fraud.
  • Kelly Brewbaker, of Hershey in Dauphin County, for $5,335 in SNAP fraud.
  • Dawn Kline, of Waynesboro in Franklin County, for $20,398 in SNAP fraud and $27,426.80 in Medical Assistance fraud.
  • Jamal Barker, of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, for $ 19,081.29 in SNAP fraud.
  • Carla Lucero, of Lancaster in Lancaster County, for $6,002 in SNAP fraud.
  • Jose Segarra, of Lancaster in Lancaster County, for $3,216 in SNAP fraud.
  • Marylenny Acosta, of Camp Hill in Cumberland County, for $24,000 in SNAP fraud.
  • Ramona Acosta, of Camp Hill in Cumberland County, for $$1,672.81 in SNAP fraud.
  • Larry Boone, of Lancaster in Lancaster County, for $ 15,330 in SNAP fraud and $7,984.55 in Medical Assistance fraud.
  • Francheska Auquilla, of Lancaster in Lancaster County, for $10,646 in SNAP fraud.
  • John Fickes, of Carlisle in Cumberland County, for $ 851 in SNAP fraud and $4,874.10 in Medical Assistance fraud.
  • Heather Randall, of Emigsville in York County, for $9,115 in SNAP fraud and $3,896.80 in Medical Assistance fraud.
  • Stephen McDaniel, of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, for $ 13,949.86 in SNAP fraud.
  • Larry Brown, of Shoemakersville in Lancaster County, for $ 4,560 in SNAP fraud.
  • Jessica Weiser, of Red Lion in York County, for $3,328 in SNAP fraud and $3,617.96 in Medical Assistance fraud.
  • Shameka Moody, of Steelton in Dauphin County, for $3,300 in SNAP fraud.
  • Jerissa Coaxum, of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, for $3,168 in SNAP fraud.
  • Tina Berrios, of York in York County, for $8,418 SNAP fraud.
  • Carol Witmer, of Elizabethtown in Lancaster County, for $4,968 in SNAP fraud and $10,998.90 in Medical Assistance fraud.
  • Carissa Farling, of York in York County, for $6,329 in SNAP fraud and $7,947.57 in Medical Assistance fraud.

If convicted, the maximum penalty they face is a seven-year prison term and a $15,000 fine, plus a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits programs they’re accused of defrauding.

In addition, the OSIG filed 88 misdemeanor charges of public benefits fraud. The suspects in those cases were not listed.

Correction: In a previous version of this article, Melissa Temple, of Gettysburg, was listed among those charged. The charges against Temple were dropped.

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