Mangano: $175K in welfare fraud, abuse uncovered

MINEOLA - About $175,000 in welfare fraud, waste and abuse has been uncovered by Nassau's Department of Social Services Office of Investigation, County Executive Ed Mangano (R-Nassau) announced today. Several elaborate schemes to defraud the county of taxpayer dollars were identified, Mangano says. According to Mangano's office, most cases involved residents falsifying records in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits, food stamps and other welfare funds. All of the cases have been referred to the district attorney's office for prosecution. The following cases were uncovered, according to Mangano's office:- Two Westbury women conspired with a child care provider to steal $4,988 from the welfare system when they signed attendance sheets indicating that their children were attending taxpayer-funded day care during a period when their children were out of town or out of the country for more than a month at a time. - A 37-year-old woman from Westbury requested assistance from DSS to pay her rent, which she fraudulently reported was $1,850 per month. A DSS investigation revealed that the woman only paid $1,100 in rent and was pocketing the $750 difference for her personal use. In addition, she lied to DSS when she reported that her three children lived with her when in fact two of her children were living in and enrolled in school in Florida. As a result of her fraudulent activity, the woman illegally qualified for $26,166 in Food Stamps and Public Assistance benefits. - A 35-year-old Huntington woman cheated DSS out of $15,219 in Nassau County Day Care benefits when she failed to report that she purchased a home in Suffolk County with the "absent" father of her children in January 2011. She also withheld the income of her children's father because disclosing that income would have made the family ineligible for public assistance. -A 51-year-old Great Neck man falsely reported that he was a part-time security guard for a retail store and falsified records to indicate that his family paid $750 in monthly rent, all in order to illegally qualify for $40,722 in Medicaid benefits. A DSS investigation revealed that the man actually owned the successful clothing store in Manhattan and owned a home in Great Neck purchased in 2006 for $856,000. - A 52-year-old Merrick man illegally obtained $42,322 in Medicaid and Food Stamps benefits after concealing income he received from several businesses that he owned. Despite reporting that he was either unemployed or working as a day laborer at various times, a DSS investigation revealed that the man and his family owned 4 businesses, a $613,000 home in Merrick, a 2010 Cadillac and a 2011 Chevy Camaro.-A 52-year-old Plainview woman and her husband failed to report their true income resulting in $33,618 in illegally obtained Medicaid benefits. - A 56-year-old East Meadow man failed to disclose his true income and falsely stated that he was working part-time at a pizzeria in order to illegally qualify for $15,844 in Medicaid and Food Stamps benefits. A DSS investigation revealed that the pizzeria that the man reportedly worked for does not exist and that he is employed as an "Executive Chef" at an upscale restaurant.

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