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Several face welfare fraud charges

Tuesday, November 05, 2013 - Updated: 10:18 AM

Staff report

JOHNSTOWN -- After ongoing investigations by the Fulton County Department of Social Services Investigative Unit, 20 Fulton County residents were charged with welfare fraud totaling $65,471.79 in unentitled benefits.

The arrests were made between April 26 and Oct. 8. All of the following arrests, and the details, are according to a news release issued by the county.

* Gary Wilder, 40, of Perth, was arrested April 26 after it was determined that he failed to report his employment. He received $2,943 in SNAP (food stamp) benefits he was not entitled to between May 27, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2012. He was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, fourth-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree welfare fraud. He was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court and sentenced on July 16.

* Jill Morrison, 36, of Glovers-ville, was charged May 21 with welfare fraud. It was determined that she failed to disclose she was receiving assistance in North Carolina. She received $417 in SNAP benefits and $451 in Temporary Assistance benefits she was not entitled to from June 29 to Aug. 31, 2011. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, fifth-degree welfare fraud and petit larceny. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court.

* Laura Richardson, 35, of Johnstown, was arrested May 16 after it was determined that she failed to report her business, Rob Dogs. She received $425 in HEAP benefits she was not entitled to on March 19, 2012. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, fifth-degree welfare fraud and petit larceny. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court and sentenced June 11.

* Deborah Bushnoe, 53, of Gloversville was charged May 16 with welfare fraud. It was determined that she failed to report rental income. She received $1,010 in HEAP benefits she was not entitled to. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, fourth-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree welfare fraud. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court.

* Yolanda Francois, 42, of Gloversville was arrested on Aug. 7. It was determined that she failed to report Social Security benefits received by a household member from Jan. 15 to June 4. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court and sentenced on Sept. 3.

* Erica Marble, 19, of Sidney, was arrested on Aug. 12. It was determined that she applied for benefits for a household member who did not reside with her on April 5. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court and sentenced on Sept. 17.

* Mack Lane, 37, of Gloversville, was charged Aug. 13 with welfare fraud. It was determined that he failed to report all household members on his applications for SNAP and HEAP. He received $8,074 in SNAP benefits and $2,045 in HEAP benefits he was not entitled to from Dec. 28, 2010, to May 31. Lane was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, third-degree grand larceny and third-degree welfare fraud. He was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court.

* Jamie Dygert, 34, of St. Johnsville, was arrested on Aug. 13. It was determined that she failed to report unemployment benefits on her SNAP application on May 20. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court.

* Rebecca Bunn, 25, of Gloversville, was charged Aug. 16 with welfare fraud. It was determined that she failed to report all household members on her applications for benefits. She received $1,945.55 in Temporary Assistance benefits, $1,437 in SNAP benefits and $1,125 in child care benefits she was not entitled to. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, third-degree grand larceny and third-degree welfare fraud. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court.

* Leraye Atwood, 35, of Glovers-ville, was charged Aug. 27 with welfare fraud. It was determined that she applied for benefits and failed to list all income and her spouse in the household. She received $10,131.69 in Temporary Assistance benefits and $6,379 in SNAP benefits for the time period from June 1, 2012 to July 31. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, third-degree grand larceny and third-degree welfare fraud. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court.

* Mark Lagrange, 50, of Johns-town, was charged Sept. 17 with welfare fraud. It was determined that he falsely reported his address to the agency. He received $1,000 in SNAP benefits he was not entitled to from April 1 to Aug. 31. He was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, fourth-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree welfare fraud. He was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court.

* Renee Jackson, 42, of Johns-town, was charged Sept. 17 with welfare fraud. It was determined that she failed to report all household members on her applications for assistance. She received $15,320 in SNAP benefits and $1,460 in HEAP benefits she was not entitled to from Sept. 1, 2011, to Aug. 31. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, third-degree grand larceny and third-degree welfare fraud. She was arraigned in Johnstown City Court.

* Cheryl Gifford, 51, of Mayfield, was charged Sept. 24 with welfare fraud. It was determined that she under-reported business income on her applications for assistance. She received $4,504 in SNAP benefits, $4,915.92 in Medicaid benefits, and $625 in HEAP benefits from Aug. 1, 2011, to Sept. 30, 2012. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, third-degree grand larceny and third-degree welfare fraud. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court.

* Deborah Masala, 36, of Northville was arrested Oct. 1. It was determined that she failed to report unemployment benefits on her application for assistance on May 20. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court.

* Erica Shaffer, 30, of Gloversville was arrested Oct. 1. It was determined that she submitted altered documentation to the agency. She received child care benefits she was not entitled to on May 31. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court and sentenced on Oct. 29.

* Victoria Chennelle, 52, of Gloversville, was arrested Oct. 1. It was determined that she failed to report her bank accounts on her application for assistance from May 3 to June 14. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court and sentenced on Oct. 29.

* Shirley Lane, 60, of Johnstown, was arrested Oct. 1. It was determined that she used a benefit card that she was not authorized to use. She was charged with misuse of food stamps and petit larceny. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court.

* Joy VanNostrand, 40, of Gloversville, was arrested Oct. 7. It was determined that she used a benefit card that she was not authorized to use. She was charged with misuse of a benefit card and petit larceny. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court.

* Olga Palma, 52, of Gloversville, was charged Oct. 8 with welfare fraud. It was determined that she failed to report HUD payments on her application for assistance. She was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, fourth-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree welfare fraud. She was issued an appearance ticket for Johnstown City Court.

In addition to above listed individuals, the unit also disqualified an additional 35 people from receiving cash, child care and SNAP benefits for a combined time period of 354 months of program disqualifications. These disqualifications resulted in $61,998 in combined program savings.

To report welfare fraud, call 736-5620.

     

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