2014

PA Office of Inspector General Announces June 2012 Welfare Fraud Adjudications

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ten Pennsylvania residents pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and/or were sentenced for their crimes during June, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced today.

"Welfare fraud is far from a victimless crime; it essentially steals public resources reserved for those who are truly eligible for help," Inspector General Kenya Mann Faulkner said. "The Office of Inspector General is committed to ensuring that those who break the law are held accountable and make restitution." 

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

  • Donna F. (Brown) Colabove, 29, of Altoona, Blair County, received more than $2,100 in cash assistance benefits. Colabove was sentenced to 3-24 months incarceration and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines.
  • Colette M. Dorgan, 35, of Lancaster, Lancaster County, received more than $1,250 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.  Dorgan was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. 
  • Carlos Edwards, 53, of Aliquippa, Beaver County, received more than $1,600 in SNAP benefits. Edwards was sentenced to 2 years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution.
  • Tristen J. Gariepy, 22, of Meadville, Crawford County, received more than $6,200 in SNAP benefits. Gariepy was sentenced to 12 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and fines. 
  • Shawn R. Kay, 29, of Philipsburg, Clearfield County, received more than $1,250 in SNAP benefits.  Kay was sentenced to 15 days to 1 year incarceration, 1 year probation and was ordered to pay restitution, costs and fines.
  • Juana Martinez, 21, of Allentown, Lehigh County, received more than $4,300 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits.  Martinez was sentenced to 1-12 months incarceration, 2 years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.
  • Charles O. McKahan, 52, of Point Marion, Fayette County, received more than $7,250 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits.  McKahan was sentenced to 1-2 years incarceration and was ordered to pay full restitution.
  • Freddy Monegro, 58, of Lancaster, Lancaster County, received $1,400 in SNAP benefits.  Monegro was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. 
  • Susanne M. Pizer, 29, of Cochranton, Crawford County, received more than $4,650 in SNAP benefits.  Pizer was sentenced to 4-12 months incarceration, 48 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines.
  • Mary D. (Runyon) Tate, 36, of Smithfield, Fayette County, received more than $1,950 in SNAP benefits. Tate was sentenced to 12 months probation 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: Melissa K. Yerges, 717-787-6835

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General



RELATED LINKS
http://www.oig.state.pa.us

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