Welfare Fraud By Any Other Name . . .

Posted: June 07, 1990

The homeless man made a name for himself in the state Welfare Department - in fact, several names.

"He used at least seven different names to collect welfare checks and food stamps," Assistant District Attorney Thomas Gilson said yesterday.

Even after pleading guilty to welfare fraud and forgery charges yesterday, no one was really sure of the man's true identity.

"What is your real name?" the defendant was asked by Common Pleas Judge Joseph D. O'Keefe.

After a pause, as though he were trying to remember himself, the man replied, "Ronald Brown."

Brown, 23, who said he lives in a city shelter on Ridge Avenue near 13th Street, was sentenced to six months to one year in prison. He was ordered to repay the state $2,517.

Gilson said the amount represents money and food stamps known to have been stolen by Brown under the seven names between August 1988 and April 1989. Gilson said no one really knows how many other names Brown may have been using during that time.

"We do know that he went to visit the seven welfare offices twice a month to collect," he said. "He took advantage of the system designed to help the homeless."


Attorney David M. McGlaughlin said his client was apparently so high on drugs that he was unaware of committing "an absolutely horrible crime."

Assistant District Attorney Joel Rosen agreed that Byron Barber's action was "senseless."

Yesterday, following a preliminary hearing, Municipal Judge James M. DeLeon orered Barber, 18, of Woodlawn Street near Boyer, to stand trial for shooting to death George Gilbert, 42, of Price Street near Boyer, on March 18. The judge refused a request for bail.

Rosen said Gilbert was near his home when he was shot in the head and chest after a few words were exchanged with Barber.


A 42-year-old South Philadelphia woman awaiting sentencing for possessing $500,000 worth of narcotics, was convicted yesterday of selling drugs to undercover Detective Terry Jones, of the district attorney's office, on May 22, 1989.

Detective Sgt. William Ruskowski told Common Pleas Judge Gene D. Cohen that he witnessed the sale by Linda Carr, of 20th Street near Federal. The judge deferred sentence.

Ruskowski said Carr's house was later sealed by the DA's office after autos, jewelry "and large amounts of cash" were seized from Carr and some members of her family. Authorities claim the items were purchased with drug money.


After being told that Thomas Toulson, 38, was dying of AIDS, Common Pleas Judge Lisa A. Richette yesterday placed him on five years' "house arrest" probation for the murder of his girlfriend on Oct. 15, 1988.

Toulson pleaded no defense to fatally stabbing Kia Greene, 26, and Richette convicted him of voluntary manslaughter.

Assistant District Attorney Carlos Vega said Toulson stabbed Greene six times in their apartment on Catharine Street near 19th, because she refused to let him eat some hot peppers she was saving for her mother.

"He has a limited amount of time to live," defense attorney Daniel-Paul Alva said.

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