Fulton County releases welfare arrest list

By JAIME STUDD

Recorder News Staff

JOHNSTOWN --The Fulton County Welfare Fraud Task Force recently released the names of nine Fulton County residents arrested over the course of the last two months on charges of alleged welfare fraud.

All of the arrests took place between Aug. 30 and Nov. 1.

According to a press release from the Fulton County Department of Social Services Investigative Unit, those arrested are alleged to have received more than $107,500 in benefits to which they were allegedly not entitled.

Those charged include:

* Allison Sturm, 23, of Gloversville, was arrested on Aug. 30 and charged with petit larceny and first degree offering a false instrument for filing. Sturm allegedly failed to report a household member on her application for temporary assistance, resulting in her receiving $344 in temporary assistance benefits that she was not entitled to. Sturm appeared in Johnstown City Court.

* Deborah Lux, 35, and Bryan Lux, 43, of Broadalbin, were arrested on Sept. 28 and charged with first degree offering a false instrument for filing, third degree welfare fraud, and third degree grand larceny. The couple allegedly failed to report income on their applications for temporary assistance, Medicaid and food stamps. The pair reportedly received $13,465 in food stamp benefits, $29,586.53 in Medicaid benefits and $1,335 in HEAP benefits between March 2009 and April 2012. The couple was arraigned in Johnstown City Court and sent to the Fulton County Correctional Facility on $15,000 cash bail or $30,000 bond each.

* Marsha Tiano, 62, of Gloversville, was arrested on Oct. 12 and charged with first degree offering a false instrument for filing, third degree welfare fraud, third degree grand larceny and obtaining public assistance by fraud after it was allegedly determined that she failed to report rental assistance payments to the department. Tiano allegedly received $442.51 in temporary assistance benefits and $11,820 in food stamp benefits between Feb. 2007 and July 2012. Tiano was issued a ticket to appear in Johnstown City Court.

* Sherri Salvione, 45, of Gloversville, was arrested on Oct. 12 and charged with first degree offering a false instrument for filing, third degree welfare fraud and third degree grand larceny. Salvione allegedly failed to report a household member on her applications for assistance. She reportedly received $1,666 in temporary assistance benefits, $30,532 in food stamp benefits and $1,100 in HEAP benefits between April 2006 and Sept. 30, 2011. Salvione was arraigned in Johnstown City Court and sent to the Fulton County Correctional Facility on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.

* Tabitha Hepner, 27, of Gloversville, was arrested on Oct. 22 and charged with first degree offering a false instrument for filing, third degree welfare fraud and third degree grand larceny. Hepner allegedly applied for benefits for individuals who do not reside in her household on her application for food stamps. She reportedly received $6,008 in food stamp benefits that she was allegedly not entitled to between July 1 and Oct. 31 of this year. Hepner was issued a ticket to appear in Johnstown City Court.

* Autumn Luft, 34, of Gloversville, was arrested on Oct. 22 and charged with first degree offering a false instrument for filing, third degree welfare fraud and third degree grand larceny. Luft allegedly failed to report child support income when applying for food stamp and HEAP benefits. She reportedly received $4,221 in food stamp benefits and $400 in HEAP benefits that she was allegedly not entitled to between Jan. 18, 2011 and July 31, 2012. Luft was issued a ticket to appear in Johnstown City Court.

* Stacey Rachon, 33, of Stratford, was arrested on Oct. 30 and charged with first degree offering a false instrument for filing, third degree welfare fraud and third degree grand larceny, after it was allegedly determined that she failed to report income on her application for food stamp benefits. Rachon reportedly received $5,712 in food stamp benefits between Sept. 1, 2011 and Feb. 28, 2012. She was issued a ticket to appear in Johnstown City Court.

* Victoria Horton, 38, of Broadalbin, was arrested on Nov. 1 and charged with petit larceny and first degree offering a false instrument for filing. Horton allegedly falsified her application for food stamp benefits. She reportedly received $880 in food stamp benefits between Jan. 19 and May 31 of this year. Horton appeared in Johnstown City Court.

According to the press release, eight additional individuals were disqualified from receiving food stamp benefits for 12 months as the result of more than $10,700 in overpaid benefits. The disqualifications resulted in approximately $13,500 in program savings.

The investigation remains ongoing and more arrests are pending. A report detailing arrest activities is released quarterly.

The Fulton County Welfare Fraud Task Force Team is comprised of officials from the Fulton County Department of Social Services Investigative Unit, the Fulton County Sheriff's Office and the Fulton County District Attorney's Office.

Anyone with information related to suspected cases of welfare fraud is asked to call the welfare fraud tip line at 736-5620.