Monday, March 12, 2012

Pennsylvania State Police Arrest 10 for Welfare Fraud in Southeast Sweep

Harrisburg – Pennsylvania State Police, working in conjunction with the Office of Inspector General and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, recently arrested 10 people for defrauding the welfare system of $66,882.

“We will continue to crack down on people who commit welfare fraud,” State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said today. “These individuals not only cheated the system, but also cheated law-abiding taxpayers who play by the rules.”

“Those who commit welfare fraud in Pennsylvania are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Inspector General Kenya Mann Faulkner said. “Exposing this kind of fraud helps ensure the integrity of the programs and the legitimacy of those who legally qualify for welfare benefits.”

The following individuals, all Philadelphia residents, were arrested for fraudulently receiving public assistance benefits:

  • Nakia Brooks, 37, received benefits totaling $9,799       
  • Lisa Brown, 38, received benefits totaling $6,745
  • Derrick Bullock, 56, received benefits totaling $7,828    
  • Natalie Grant, 33, received benefits totaling $6,390       
  • Tina Henes, 35, received benefits totaling $6,444
  • Latrice Lawson, 41, received benefits totaling $5,290     
  • Charnda Rice, 45, received benefits totaling $6,196       
  • Joseph Tomasellie, 38, received benefits totaling $6,046         
  • Michelle Wallace, 41, received benefits totaling $5,915  
  • Kim Webster, 51, received benefits totaling $6,229        

“It is extremely important that arrests like these are made especially during these tough economic times,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. “I applaud the hard work being done jointly by the state police, the Inspector General, and my office to track down these types of criminals.”

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.

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