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Welfare Fraud

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NEWS
April 18, 2000 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
October 3, 1995 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
September 18, 1987 | By JOE CLARK, Daily News Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
October 18, 1989 | By Doug Campbell, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
June 20, 1987 | By Sandra McIntosh, Special to The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
April 10, 1997 | By John Murawski, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
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.
NEWS
June 7, 1990 | By Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
August 2, 2012 | By William Bender and Daily News Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
August 7, 1988 | By Mary Anne Janco, Special to The Inquirer
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.
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NEWS
September 7, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
WHEN YOU WORK within the system, you apparently learn how to exploit it. Three Social Security Administration employees are at the center of a massive fraud scheme that netted over $76,000 in welfare benefits, said Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office. Sakeenah Belle, 31, Chanae Thomas, 31, and Felicia Fernandez, 30, are accused of using their positions with the SSA to submit false documents that underreported their annual incomes and allowed them to gain eligibility for welfare benefits, medical assistance and subsidized child care, Jamerson said.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 7, 2013 | By Howard Gensler
 NADYA "OCTOMOM" SULEMAN may have been caught with her hand in the cookie jar due to her other hand being in her honey pot. TMZ.com reports that evidence is mounting that Octo scammed taxpayers by committing welfare fraud after authorities found pay stubs from her work in self-gratification porn. The Los Angeles County Department of Welfare and Fraud seized Octo's financial records and said that she'd been overpaid $15,683 in welfare money from January to May of this year.
NEWS
March 6, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
The operator of a Philadelphia day-care center charged with involuntary manslaughter in the drowning of a 7-year-old boy last summer will remain behind bars pending trial, a Philadelphia judge ruled Tuesday. Common Pleas Court Judge Joan A. Brown denied a request by Tianna Edwards' lawyer to lift a detainer lodged against her by another judge. Edwards, 31, was on probation for a 2012 insurance fraud conviction when she was arrested in the June 30 drowning of Isear Jeffcoat. Because the arrest also was a violation of Edwards' probation in the fraud case, the judge ordered her detained until that issue is resolved.
NEWS
March 6, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
THERE IS no dispute that Isear Jeffcoat, 7, drowned in a backyard swimming pool June 29 while frolicking with about 20 other students from Tianna's Terrific Tots day-care center. But what must be sorted out in a courtroom is if the North Philadelphia day- care's operator, Tianna Edwards, is responsible for the boy's death. Edwards, 31, who was arrested Jan. 18 on a charge of involuntary manslaughter, has been indicted by a state grand jury on dozens of additional charges, the District Attorney's Office announced Monday.
NEWS
August 2, 2012 | By William Bender and Daily News Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 20, 2012 | Breaking News Desk
Three Montgomery County woman have been charged with fraudulently collecting about $123,000 in public assistance housing benefits, authorities announced today. Arrested and released on unsecured bail were Tracy Warren, of Pottstown; Terry Holmes, of North Hills; and Megan Benson, officials said. Authorities said the three, acting separately, continually falsified their public housing applications to conceal changes in compositions of their respective households and income. The benefits were administered through the Montgomery County Housing Authority.
NEWS
March 15, 2012 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
Thomas F. Gilson Sr., 83, of Northeast Philadelphia, an assistant district attorney who prosecuted welfare fraud and helped create a program that gave first-time offenders a second chance, died Tuesday of heart failure at his home. When he became an assistant district attorney in 1969, Mr. Gilson was assigned to a program assisting detectives in police districts. In the 1970s, he helped establish and supervise the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. The program allows defendants who meet certain criteria to have their police records expunged.
NEWS
January 29, 2012 | By Jay Ostrich
Regardless of where you stand on taxpayer-funded entitlements, few Americans argue against the maintenance of temporary safety nets or modifications aimed at ending welfare fraud, waste, and abuse. In hopes of protecting both interests, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare recently re-implemented an asset test for food stamps. An asset test looks at the total wealth of an individual before granting taxpayer assistance. Until 2008, Pennsylvania was using such a test. Asset tests represent an important first step toward preserving limited taxpayer resources for the truly needy.
NEWS
August 10, 2011 | By Melissa Dribben, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Fawziyya Fox has spent most of her life trying to protect her brother, Buckner, from a barrage of bad luck and misguided choices. Her mission began 23 years ago when she watched in horror as an FBI agent wrested "Buck" from their mother's arms. Now, sitting beside him, Fawziyya still believes she can help him turn his life around. She is 29, working as an entertainment lawyer in New York. He is 24 and a former crack dealer. They are in a Philadelphia courtroom in June, where he faces three to five years for illegal gun possession.
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