Office of Inspector General Announces August Welfare Fraud Adjudications

Sep 28, 2011, 16:15 ET from Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Seven Pennsylvania residents pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and/or were sentenced for their crimes during August, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced today.

"The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a zero-tolerance policy for welfare fraud," Inspector General Kenya Mann Faulkner said. "Our goal is to ensure that public assistance is reserved only for those who are truly eligible, and to stop fraud by prosecuting those who commit this serious crime."

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

  • Tina M. Forshey, 38, of Lewistown, Mifflin County, formerly of Mifflintown, Juniata County, and Larry W. Lohr, 38, of Lewistown, Mifflin County, received more than $900 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Both were sentenced to 12 months probation and were ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.

  • Marisa L. Moser, 31, of Claysburg, Bedford County, received more than $5,200 in SNAP benefits. Moser was sentenced to 1 year probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs, and fines.

  • Pamela C. Piper, 46, of Latrobe, Westmoreland County, formerly of Youngstown, Westmoreland County, received more than $6,600 in SNAP benefits. Piper was sentenced to 5 years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.

  • Michelle L. Schultz, 34, of Greensburg, Westmoreland County, received more than $1,000 in cash assistance benefits. Schultz was sentenced to 1 year probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.

  • Tina M. Smith, 49, of Lewistown, Mifflin County, formerly of Burnham, Mifflin County, received more than $1,000 in SNAP benefits. Smith was sentenced to 12 months probation and 30 hours of community service and was ordered to pay restitution, costs, and fines.

  • Makenze J. Williams, 30, of Jersey Shore, Lycoming County, formerly of Williamsport, Lycoming County, received more than $5,100 in SNAP benefits. Williams was sentenced to 3 years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.

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.  

Each year, 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 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: Richard S. Delia, 717-787-6835

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General



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