Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General: 50 Lackawanna County Residents Face Criminal Welfare-Fraud Charges.
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- On behalf of Pa. Gov. Mark Schweiker, Inspector General Robert J. DeSousa today announced that welfare- fraud charges have been filed against 50 Lackawanna County residents who, in unrelated cases, allegedly collected more than $72,000 in public-assistance benefits to which they were not entitled en·ti·tle
tr.v. en·ti·tled, en·ti·tling, en·ti·tles
1. To give a name or title to.
2. To furnish with a right or claim to something: .
These multiple filings are the result of the Office of Inspector General's (OIG Noun 1. OIG - the investigative arm of the Federal Trade Commission
Office of Inspector General
independent agency - an agency of the United States government that is created by an act of Congress and is independent of the executive departments ) concentrated team approach to investigating and prosecuting public- assistance fraud. The team acts like a task force and is comprised of Claims Investigation Agents from the OIG's Northeast Region, including Agents Michael J. Critchosin, Alexis J. Goldman, Daniel M. Munafo, John M. Richards Rich·ards , Dickinson Woodruff 1895-1973.
American physician. He shared a 1956 Nobel Prize for developing cardiac catheterization. , and Melissa K. Yerges.
"These charges are a wake-up call to those individuals who cheat the system," DeSousa said. "The Office of Inspector General Noun 1. Office of Inspector General - the investigative arm of the Federal Trade Commission
independent agency - an agency of the United States government that is created by an act of Congress and is independent of the executive departments has conscientious con·sci·en·tious
1. Guided by or in accordance with the dictates of conscience; principled: a conscientious decision to speak out about injustice.
2. agents working across the Commonwealth and, with the cooperation of district attorneys like Lackawanna County's Andrew Jarbola, we can ensure that public- assistance benefits go only to those who need them."
Preliminary hearings for all of these cases will be scheduled before District Justice Alyce H. Farrell at a later date.
This past November, the OIG released its annual welfare-fraud report, which showed that the OIG saved and collected more than $140 million last fiscal year by fighting fraud in taxpayer-funded welfare programs. For the first time, the report and a video overview of the report featuring Inspector General DeSousa are available online through the PA PowerPort at http://www.state.pa.us/, PA Keyword: "Inspector General."
Suspects who are found guilty of welfare fraud may face a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, fines up to $15,000, mandatory restitution In the context of Criminal Law, state programs under which an offender is required, as a condition of his or her sentence, to repay money or donate services to the victim or society; with respect to maritime law, the restoration of articles lost by jettison, done when the to the Commonwealth and program disqualification dis·qual·i·fi·ca·tion
1. The act of disqualifying or the condition of having been disqualified.
2. Something that disqualifies: illness as a disqualification for enlistment in the army. .
The OIG is responsible for investigating welfare fraud and conducting collection activities for programs administered by the Department of Public Welfare. Each year, the OIG works with county assistance offices and Child Care Information Services See Information Systems. statewide to identify suspected cases of welfare fraud and with local district attorneys to bring the cases to prosecution.
The OIG also relies on tips from citizens. Anyone with information on suspected fraud is encouraged to call the Welfare Fraud TipLine at 1-800-932-0582 or e-mail the OIG at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is a list of suspects, as well as the dollar amounts they allegedly received:
-- Robert S. Wallen, 34, and Jamie L. Atkinson, 21, of Carbondale, $897; -- Idalia Charles, 30, of Scranton, $699; -- Nicole Tomlinson, 21, of Old Forge, $773; -- Madelyn Zvolensky, 54, of Dalton, $601; -- Cynthia Naughton, 48, of Scranton, $1,139; -- Elvira E. Stevenson, 41, of Scranton, $6,709; -- Mitzi Finkler, 43, of Scranton, $1,254; -- Carol Mohyla, 38, of Scranton $1,102; -- Martin J. Stravinsky Jr., 24, of Dickson City, $954; -- Deborah Peck, 41, of Old Forge, $742; -- Maritza Cruz, 29, of Carbondale, $2,305; -- Sherry Hayes, 35, of Las Vegas, N.M., (formerly of Scranton) $3,248; -- Richard M. Sciartilli Jr., 32, of Scranton, $2,523; -- Brian G. McAlarney, 34, of Throop, $1,226; -- Karianne Welsh, 31, of Scranton, $6,030; -- Krista Owen, 22, of Scranton, $973; -- Lukisha Stevenson, 28, of Scranton, $2,369; -- Shelly A. Thompson, 33, of Scranton, $1,242; -- Gino D. Merritt, 39, of Dunmore, $527; -- Lori A. Bloom, 37, of Scranton, $1,076; -- Kenneth W. Robbins, 35, of Taylor, $3,710.95; -- Veronica A. Ford, 45, of Scranton, $785.20; -- Amanda L. Smith, 19, of Archbald, $632; -- Yvette Rodriguez, 28, of Scranton, $1,205.89; -- Latonda Y. Taborn, 28, of Scranton, $1,443; -- Trina Angelo, 26, of Scranton, $920.98; -- Debbie R. Thomas, 38, of Scranton, $1,894; -- Robert J. Schultz, 47, of Moosic, $1,877.50; -- Angel Cabrera, 44, and Ann Cabrera, 30, of Lake Ariel, $1,031; -- Bruce J. Reviello, 38, of Moosic, $907; -- Laurie L. Kohut, 27, of Scranton, $819; -- Tamica A. Martinez, 23, of Scranton, $1,110; -- Richie G. Clark, 34, of Scranton, $2,091.53; -- Michael Colwell, 51, and Shirley Colwell, 52, of Moscow, $1,042; -- Sharon Crawford, 44, of Scranton, $1,384.48; -- Joann Davis, 52, of Hamlin, $2,736; -- Michele Ezzo, 32, of Moscow, $936; -- Sylvia Flores, 31, of Scranton, $1,576; -- Sandra Jimenez, 30, of Scranton, $1,771; -- Kenneth Reid, 46, and Fay Reid, 38, of Scranton, $2,101; -- Tammy Vail, 26, of Avoca, $540; -- William O. Smith Jr., 22, of Scranton, $820; -- Patricia Morris, 42, of Scranton, $670; -- Dawn Glogowski, 27, of Dunmore, $842; -- Joel Kasprzak, 41, of Clarks Summit, $1,546.95; and -- Irene Donnelly, 43, of Carbondale, $1,427.
CONTACT: W. Scott Foster of the Pennsylvania Pennsylvania (pĕnsəlvā`nyə), one of the Middle Atlantic states of the United States. It is bordered by New Jersey, across the Delaware River (E), Delaware (SE), Maryland (S), West Virginia (SW), Ohio (W), and Lake Erie and New York Office of Inspector General, +1-717-783-7788.
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Contact: W. Scott Foster of the Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General, +1-717-783-7788