Office of Inspector General announces April welfare fraud adjudications

Twenty five Pennsylvania residents pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and/or were sentenced for their crimes during April, the Office of Inspector General announced today.

“Welfare fraud is far from a victimless crime; it essentially steals public resources reserved for those who are truly eligible for help,” Acting Inspector General Michael A. Sprow said. “The Office of Inspector General is committed to ensuring that those who break the law are held accountable and make restitution.”

The following individuals were prosecuted and sentenced for fraudulently receiving public assistance benefits:

· Larry L. Bowman, 47, of Uniontown, Fayette County, received more than $3,900 in cash assistance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Bowman was sentenced to three to 24 months incarceration and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. Additionally, he was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Lowell A. Chambers Jr., 41, of Meadville, Crawford County, received more than $2,800 in Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefits. Chambers was sentenced to one month incarceration, three months house arrest, two years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines.

· Holly J. Conley, 38, of Altoona, Blair County, received more than $1,700 in cash assistance benefits. Conley was sentenced to two years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. She was also disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Shanika K. Davis, 31, of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, received more than $5,500 in SNAP benefits. Davis was sentenced to four years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. She was also disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Danielle R. Globisch, 24, of New Providence, Lancaster County, received more than $5,300 in SNAP benefits. Globisch was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. She was also disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Cheryl L. Kepler, 49, of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, received more than $5,100 in SNAP benefits. Kepler was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines. Additionally, she was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Tara M. Lauffenburger, 30, and Joseph W. Rectenwald, 33, of Youngsville, Warren County, received more than $13,550 in SNAP benefits. Both were ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines. Additionally, they were each disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Ronalit Lugo-Monllor, 24, of Lancaster, Lancaster County, received more than $1,150 in cash assistance benefits. Lugo-Monllor was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines. She was also disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months.

· Andrew MacNair, 32, of Douglassville, Berks County, received more than $1,500 in cash assistance benefits. MacNair was sentenced to one year probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. He was also disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months.

· Sherry L. Martin, 42, of Ephrata, Lancaster County, received more than $2,150 in SNAP benefits. Martin was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines. She was also disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Marina L. O’Neill, 31, of Morgantown, Berks County, received more than $4,650 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. O’Neill was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to pay restitution and costs. Additionally, she was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Jennifer M. Ortlip, 35, of Christiana, Lancaster County, received more than $3,100 in SNAP benefits. Ortlip was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. She was also disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Carmen J. Patti Jr., 48, of Dingmans Ferry, Pike County, received more than $1,350 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Patti was sentenced to one year probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines. Additionally, he was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Dawn L. Reefer, 38, of Mount Joy, Lancaster County, received more than $1,350 in SNAP benefits. Reefer was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines. She was also disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Alicia Rivera, 25, of Reading, Berks County, received more than $10,850 in medical assistance and SNAP benefits. Rivera was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. She was also disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Antoinette Sanford, 43, of Easton, Northampton County, received more than $3,250 in SNAP benefits. Sanford was sentenced to 30 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. Additionally, she was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Tynese S. Shadel, 36, of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, received more than $7,600 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Shadel was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines. Additionally, she was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Julia A. Silver, 54, of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, received more than $1,200 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Silver was sentenced to two years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines. Additionally, she was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Michael L. Smith, 33, of Uniontown, Fayette County, received more than $900 in SNAP benefits. Smith was sentenced to one year probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines. He was also disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Faith Stafford, 30, of Reading, Berks County, received more than $5,200 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Stafford was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. Additionally, she was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Gynieth L. Stonesifer, 48, of Columbia, Lancaster County, received more than $7,900 in SNAP benefits. Stonesifer was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. Additionally, she was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Julia M. Tarr, 48, of Titusville, Crawford County, received more than $9,400 in SNAP benefits. Tarr was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines. She was also disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Amanda L. Viands, 29, of York, York County, received more than $12,750 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Viands was sentenced to five years probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. Additionally, she was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

· Tamika M. White, 24, of Lancaster, Lancaster County, received more than $1,250 in SNAP benefits. White was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. She was also disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

The Office of Inspector General’s Bureau of Fraud Prevention and Prosecution is responsible for investigating welfare fraud and conducting collection activities for programs administered by, or contracted through, the Department of Public Welfare (DPW).

The Office of Inspector General works with DPW’s county assistance offices statewide to identify suspected cases of public assistance fraud and with local district attorneys to bring the cases to prosecution.

Anyone found guilty of welfare fraud could face a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, fines up to $15,000, mandatory restitution, and program disqualification.

The Office of Inspector General also relies on tips from concerned citizens. To report suspected fraud, call the Welfare Fraud Tipline at 1-800-932-0582. Callers may remain anonymous.

Visit the Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General online at www.oig.state.pa.us.