April 18, 2000 |
The "Welfare Queen" has been dethroned. Cops yesterday arrested Deborah Chisom, 40, after a domestic dispute at a B Street home, and discovered an outstanding warrant against her. The warrant, obtained last month by the district attorney's office, charges Chisom, 40, with ripping off the welfare system for $140,000 over 10 years. District Attorney Lynne Abraham said the case represents "the largest individual welfare fraud" in the city's history. Abraham and state Inspector General Robert J. DeSousa said Chisom, of Diamond Street near 19th, collected welfare benefits for herself and her six children, even though the kids have been living with their aunt in Cleveland since 1989.
October 3, 1995 |
One of the big debates in Washington these days is over reforming the welfare system. But debates and threats of ending the current system haven't slowed down the welfare rip-off artists in Philadelphia. During the last year, more than 450 welfare fraud cases have been prosecuted in the city, bringing in more than $800,000 in court-ordered restitution. This month, about two dozen more cases are listed for trial. "We're doing our best to crack down on these people," said Assistant District Attorney Peter Berson, assistant chief of the government fraud division.
September 18, 1987 |
District Attorney Ron Castille today announced he is charging 37 city employees with receiving more than $129,000 in illegal state welfare benefits while on the city payroll. The arrests, said Castille, bring the number charged with welfare fraud to more than 800 in the past year and a half and involve more than $5.1 million. "What makes this especially offensive is that those charged were in effect double-dipping by accepting both welfare assistance and a city paycheck," Castille said.
October 18, 1989 |
In thousands of little installments, welfare fraud and overpayment have racked up big bills in Burlington County over the years. For example: A 26-year-old Medford woman got a job in 1987 while she was collecting welfare and food stamps but did not tell the Burlington County Welfare Board. She pleaded guilty in February to welfare fraud and is repaying $2,022 at the rate of $36 a month. A 30-year-old Burlington woman collected $2,532 from the Welfare Board between June and November 1987, but she didn't tell the board she had married.
June 20, 1987 |
Delaware residents irked by friends, co-workers or neighbors stealing tax dollars through illegal welfare payments can now pick up the phone, report the cheaters to Crime Stoppers and earn a reward. The Crime Stoppers Hotline, which uses money to entice tipsters to aid police, has been expanded to include welfare fraud. "We're saying, 'Hey, if you're mad because your neighbor is ripping off the state, but you don't want to get involved, then call Crime Stoppers,' " said Samuel McKeeman, director of the nonprofit Crime Stoppers Hotline.
April 10, 1997 |
The war of words over welfare has made a big deal of so-called welfare queens. Not much is heard about welfare cheats. The cheats are double-dippers who may hold down a steady job but are illegally collecting welfare on the side. In a recent spate of investigations into welfare fraud, four Montgomery County residents on welfare have been charged with collecting unemployment, insurance or wages and not telling the state Department of Public Welfare. One has pleaded guilty and must pay more than $17,000 in restitution.
June 7, 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.
August 2, 2012 |
DARBY BOROUGH in Delaware County seems to be making a name for itself — as Pennsylvania's go-to destination for committing six-figure welfare fraud. Less than three months after the feds busted the owner of Aunty Florence's West African Food Market on Main Street for allegedly converting food stamps into cash — and keeping a nice cut for herself — state Attorney General Linda Kelly on Wednesday announced the arrest of two former Department of Public Welfare employees for allegedly stealing nearly $300,000 in public-assistance benefits.
August 7, 1988 |
Sequestered in a tiny cubicle in the state Department of Public Welfare office in Upper Darby, Diana Mackenzie Fichera is busy making phone calls and sifting through computer sheets as she gathers evidence for her next prosecution. With the help of a new computer system, Fichera has little difficulty tracking down welfare recipients who illegally collect benefits. "They think they're never going to get caught," said Fichera, who has been investigating fraud cases for 17 years.