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35 people accused of felony welfare fraud, including 7 from Central Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG — A total of 35 people — including seven from Central Pennsylvania — have been charged with third-degree felony counts of welfare f...
welfare fraud

HARRISBURG — A total of 35 people — including seven from Central Pennsylvania — have been charged with third-degree felony counts of welfare fraud in December 2019, according to the most recent numbers released by the Office of the State Inspector General.

In addition, 10 other people were charged with 10 separate misdemeanor charges of public benefits fraud, the OSIG said.

The felony cases involved $240,125.40 in restitution owed to the commonwealth, the OSIG said. Additional cost savings will be realized as the defendants are temporarily disqualified from receiving public benefits in the programs they allegedly defrauded, the OSIG said.

“Ensuring the integrity of public assistance programs is crucial in our service to the citizens of Pennsylvania,” said Acting State Inspector General Lucas M. Miller. “We hold accountable those who willfully defraud these programs while safeguarding assistance for those who are in need. We are proud to support Governor Wolf’s investment in services to vulnerable populations by providing an important program integrity role.”

The defendants in the third-degree felony cases are:

  • Shelby Kamarer, of New Cumberland in Cumberland County, for $18,499.67 in Medical Assistance fraud and $4,428.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Scott Davis, of Lebanon in Lebanon County, for $9,785.62 in Medical Assistance fraud and $1,947.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Natasha Osorio-Gierbolini, of Ephrata in Lancaster County, for $5,057.00 in Cash Assistance fraud and $1,280.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Elizabeth Fontanez-Rosar, of Lebanon in Lebanon County, for $5,640.25 in Medical Assistance fraud.
  • Jennfier Marti Forty, of Lebanon in Lebanon County, for $3,236.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Mary Wiley, of Stewartstown in York County, for $2,501.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Abigail Martinez, of York in York County, for $2,464.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Nakisha Williams, of Reading in Berks County, for $21,987.78 in Medical Assistance fraud and $5,377.00 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamp) fraud.
  • Rebecca Evans, of Greensburg in Westmoreland County, for $9,824.03 in Medical Assistance fraud and $8,784.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Deborah Wittig, of Bruin in Clarion County, for $16,361.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Nicole Tyler, of Penn in Westmoreland County, for $9,157.00 in SNAP fraud and $501.00 for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) fraud.
  • Hannah Conway, of Irwin in Westmoreland County, for $9,282.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Dianna Snyder, of Brockway in Jefferson County, for $9,215.00 in Medical Assistance fraud.
  • Sharina Eaddy, of Elkins Park in Montgomery County, for $7,238.78 in Medical Assistance fraud and $1,457.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Deborah Bier, of Conshohocken in Montgomery County, for $6,675.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Aliyah Foster, of Philadelphia, for $5,288.80 in Cash Assistance fraud and $1,023.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Chelsea-Ray Merritt, of Hopewell in Blair County, for $5,714.00 in SNAP fraud and $339.00 for LIHEAP fraud.
  • Tina Harris, of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, for $4,841.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Colin Snyder, of Williamsport in Lycoming County, for $2,929.56 in Medical Assistance fraud and $1,056.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Sabrina Prokopovich, of Freeland in Luzerne County, for $3,875.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Lissette Silva, of Wilkes-Barre in Luzerne County, for $3,227.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Anelina Atkins, of Elkins Park in Montgomery County, for $3,030.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Sarah Smithson, of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, for $3,027.17 in SNAP fraud.
  • Melissa Spong, of Williamsport in Lycoming County, for $1,449.00 in SNAP fraud and $1,410.50 in Cash Assistance fraud.
  • Damion and Sydnei Green, of New Castle in Lawrence County, for $2,715.50 in Cash Assistance fraud.
  • Natasha Boyd, of Norristown in Montgomery County, for $1,950.00 in SNAP fraud and $762.00 for LIHEAP fraud.
  • Ranecia Jefferson, of Johnstown in Cambria County, for $2,564.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Tanisha Cooper, of Homestead in Allegheny County, for $$2,563.00 in Cash Assistance fraud.
  • Cathy Riffle, of Johnstown in Cambria County, for $2,404.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Michelle Waugaman, of Greensburg in Westmoreland County, for $2,102.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Shakera Aiken and Joshua Nieves, of Reading in Berks County, for $2,080.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Javon Daisey, of Reading in Berks County, for $2,036.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • John Mollett, of Aliquippa in Beaver County, for $1,365.91 in Medical Assistance fraud and $254.00 in SNAP fraud.

If convicted, the maximum penalty they face is seven years in prison and a fine of $15,000.00, plus, in the case of SNAP, Cash Assistance, or Subsidized Day Care fraud, a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program they allegedly defrauded, according to the OSIG.

All persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.