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State accuses 45 people of welfare fraud, including 8 from Central PA

HARRISBURG — The Office of State Inspector General filed welfare fraud charges against 45 people during the month of November, the agency said Friday in a...
welfare fraud

HARRISBURG — The Office of State Inspector General filed welfare fraud charges against 45 people during the month of November, the agency said Friday in a press release.

Eight of the suspected offenders are from Central Pennsylvania. The restitution owed to the Commonwealth in these cases totals $211,274.32, the OSIG said.

“The Office of State Inspector General works hard to ensure that only eligible citizens receive public assistance,” said State Inspector General Bruce R. Beemer. “We play an important role in Pennsylvania’s social safety net, working with law enforcement partners across the Commonwealth to safeguard the public’s trust in these vital programs.”

The OSIG filed 23 cases of fraudulently receiving public assistance that were graded as felonies of the third degree.

The defendants are:

  • Michelle Ramos, of Sunbury in Northumberland County, for $37,107.76 in Subsidized Day Care fraud.
  • Iesha Ross, of Philadelphia, for $12,862.49 in Cash Assistance fraud and $3,127.00 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) fraud.
  • Terry Hughes, of Palmyra in Lebanon County, for $12,108.62 in Medical Assistance fraud and $2,201.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Ashlee Nicholas, of Lebanon in Lebanon County, for $9,289.00 in SNAP fraud and $3,589.37 in Medical Assistance fraud.
  • Suzie Sanabria, of Lancaster in Lancaster County, for $11,923.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Elisandra Conde, of Philadelphia, for $11,817.16 in Cash Assistance fraud.
  • Natasha Gaines, of Simpsonville, South Carolina and formerly of Montgomery County, for $5,908.29 in Medical Assistance fraud and $3,584.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Maribel Acevedo, of Reading in Berks County, for $4,156.00 in SNAP fraud and $3,151.50 in Cash Assistance fraud.
  • Katie Cuff, of Altoona in Blair County, for $4,940.89 in Medical Assistance fraud and $2,096.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Samuel Lee, of Ambler in Montgomery County, for $4,227.35 in Medical Assistance fraud and $478.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Antwain Robinson, of Lancaster in Lancaster County, for $4,432.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Ragine Williams, of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, for $4,321.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Yenilys Sanchez, of York in York County, for $4,187.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Amy Diahn, of Norristown in Montgomery County, for $2,452.78 in Medical Assistance fraud and $1,321.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Stephanie Hustler, of Souderton in Montgomery County, for $3,066.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Cynthia Walter, of Hanover in York County, for $3,015.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Marylou Ramos, of Reading in Berks County, for $2,174.51 in Medical Assistance fraud and $768.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Kia Griffy, of Columbia in Lancaster County, for $2,736.50 in Cash Assistance fraud.
  • Amanda Sims, of Scranton in Lackawanna County, for $2,479.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Sophi Milnes, of Bensalem in Bucks County, for $1,530.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Dareen Harper, of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, for $1,377.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Tempestt Clark, of Sharon Hill in Delaware County, for $1,240.00 in SNAP fraud.
  • Sandra Pacileo, of Erie in Erie County, for $1,073.00 in SNAP fraud.

If convicted, the maximum penalty they face is seven years in prison and a fine of $15,000.00, plus a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program they allegedly defrauded.