DSS Employee Falsely Obtained Benefits For Family Members

SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY — A Suffolk County Department of Social Services (DSS) employee was arrested on Tuesday for falsely obtaining benefits for her family members, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini.

Paola Masi, 30, of Patchogue, has worked as a social services examiner since 2013 and is responsible for looking at applications and determining if the applicant is eligible for benefits, according to the DA.

In 2018 and 2019, she allegedly used her position to manipulate the system in order to falsely qualify her mother, father and grandmother for benefits, including food stamps, the DA stated. Her scheme resulted in her receiving $5,000 in benefits for family members that they were not entitled to, according to Sini.

Masi deleted electronic notices that would have alerted other DSS employees that her mother and father earned income during the time they were applying for benefits, the DA said. She also falsely certifying her grandmother’s eligibility for SNAP benefits before the certification process began., the DA said.

She was charged with third-degree corrupting the government, third-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree grand larceny, public corruption, third-degree welfare fraud, fourth-degree welfare fraud, and first-degree tampering with public records, according to the DA.

Masi’s father, 62-year-old Luis Bustamante, of Brentwood, was also charged in connection with the alleged scheme, the DA said.

He was charged with third-degree corrupting the government, fourth-degree grand larceny, public corruption, and fourth-degree welfare fraud, according to Sini

“This individual allegedly used her position of trust and her knowledge of the system to steal more than $5,000 from Suffolk County taxpayers that was meant for families truly in need,” Sini said. “This kind of scheme goes directly against our duties as public servants. I commend the members of my office’s Public Integrity Bureau for their vigilance in protecting taxpayers.”

SULLIVAN COUNTY FRAUD ARRESTS

JOHN R. LIDDLE
COMMISSIONER
COUNTY OF SULLIVAN
Division of Health and Family Services
Department of Family Services
SULLIVAN COUNTY HUMAN SERVICES COMPLEX
COMMUNITY LANE
PO BOX 231
Liberty, NY 12754

The Sullivan County Fraud Task Force has arrested:

• October 10, 2020 – Melissa G. Gabriel 39 of Bloomingburg was arrested and charged with the Class E Felony of Welfare Fraud in the Fourth Degree and Class E Felony of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Gabriel stole $2,261.00 in SNAP benefits by failing to disclose that the Father of her children was employed and living with her. Gabriel was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 10, 2020 – Carolanne A. Margillo 45 of Monticello was arrested and charged with the Class E Felony of Welfare Fraud in the Fourth Degree and Class E Felony of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Margillo stole $3,558.00 in SNAP benefits by failing to report that she was employed. Margillo was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 10, 2020 – Rosalyn J. Crandell 38 of Monticello was arrested and charged with the Class E Felony of Welfare Fraud in the Fourth Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Crandell stole $1,455.00 in SNAP benefits by failing to disclose that her two children no longer resided with her. Crandell was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 10, 2020 – Angeline C. Schwartz 29 of Burlingham was arrested and charged with the Class D Felony of Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree and Class E Felony of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Schwartz stole $11,178.00 in SNAP benefits by failing to disclose that her children’s Father was employed and failing to disclose that she was collecting unemployment benefits. Schwartz was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 10, 2020 – Lisa E. Harrison 59 of Liberty was arrested and charged with the Class A Misdemeanor of Misuse of Food Stamps. It is alleged that Harrison stole $416.33 in SNAP benefits by using a SNAP benefit card that didn’t belong to her to obtain items that she wasn’t entitled to. Harrison was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 10, 2020 – Michael J. Bryant Jr. 36 of Parksville was arrested and charged with the Class E Felonies of Welfare Fraud in the Fourth Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Bryant stole $937.00 in SNAP benefits by failing to report that his Son no longer resides with him. Bryant was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 13, 2020 – Angelica G. Waszakowski 29 of Parksville was arrested and charged with the Class D Felony of Welfare Fraud in the Third degree and Class E Felony of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Waszakowski stole $7,930.00 in SNAP benefits by failing to disclose that her child’s Father was employed and living with her. Waszakowski was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 13, 2020 – Melissa D. Reynolds 28 of Liberty was arrested and charged with the Class E Felony of Offering a False Instrument for filing in the First Degree and Class A Misdemeanor of Welfare Fraud in the Fifth Degree. It is alleged that Reynolds stole $409.00 in SNAP benefits by failing to disclose that she was collecting SNAP benefits from the state of Virginia while simultaneously collecting SNAP benefits from the state of New York. Reynolds was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 13, 2020 – Rosa A. Palmares 27 of Loch Sheldrake was arrested and charged with the Class E Felony of Misuse of Food Stamps. It is alleged that Palmares stole $1,689.00 in SNAP benefits by failing to disclose that she was collecting SNAP benefits from the state of Maine while simultaneously collecting SNAP benefits from the state of New York. Palmares was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 14, 2020 – Tron L. Snowden Sr. 41 of Monticello was arrested and charged with the Class E Felony of Welfare Fraud in the Fourth Degree and Class E Felony of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Snowden stole $2,034.00 in SNAP benefits by failing to disclose that his daughter was employed and no longer residing with him. Snowden was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 14, 2020 – Audrey L. Steiger 45 of Woodridge was arrested and charged with the Class E Felony of Welfare Fraud in the Fourth Degree and Class E Felony of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Steiger stole $2,440.00 in SNAP benefits by failing to accurately report her Monthly rent. Failing to report her correct address, and failing to report that she was receiving subsidized rent at this address. Steiger was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 14, 2020 – Keyona D. Gibson 25 of Hurleyville was arrested and charged with the Class E Felony of Welfare Fraud in the Fourth Degree and Class E Felony of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Gibson stole $1,727.50 in Public Assistance and SNAP benefits by failing to disclose that her daughter was no longer residing with her. Gibson was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 16, 2020- Kyle T. Manny 36 of Walden was arrested on an outstanding Sullivan County Family Court warrant for failing to pay child support in the amount of $80,187.59. Manny was arraigned and released to appear in Family Court at a later date.

• October 22, 2020 – Leonard O. Jacobs Jr. 37 of Monticello was arrested and charged with one count of the Class D Felony of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree. Four counts of the Class E Felony of Healthcare Fraud in the Fourth Degree, and two counts of offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Jacobs stole $27,957.00 in Medicaid benefits by submitting fraudulent time cards. Jacobs was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 22, 2020 – Melinda M. Conklin 45 of Monticello was arrested and charged with one count of the Class D Felony of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree. Four counts of the Class E Felony of Healthcare Fraud in the Fourth Degree, and one count of offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Conklin stole $27,957.00 in Medicaid benefits by approving and submitting fraudulent time cards. Conklin was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 22, 2020 – Theresa M. Ziegler 27 of Woodbourne was arrested and charged with the Class A Misdemeanor of Misuse of Food Stamps. It is alleged that Ziegler stole $644.00 in food stamps by failing to accurately disclose household income. Ziegler was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 22, 2020 – Yvonne E. Payton 49 of Monticello was arrested and charged with the Class D Felony of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree. It is alleged that Payton stole $3,209.00 in SNAP benefits by failing to disclose that she was employed. Payton was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 22, 2020 – Derek V. Keysaw of Liberty was arrested and charged with the Class E Felony of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Keysaw stole $393.87 in Medicaid funded Medical Transportation by using medical transportation for non-medical purposes. Keysaw was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 22, 2020 – Isaac I. Moshe 33 of Monticello was arrested and charged with the Class E Felonies of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Moshe stole $2,351.48 In Medicaid funded Medical Transportation by claiming he was going to medical appointments that he never went to. Moshe was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

• October 23, 2020 – Jason A. Jones 29 of Liberty was arrested and charged with the Class E Felonies of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. It is alleged that Jones stole 2,388.00 in SNAP benefits by failing to accurately report household income. Jones was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Liberty Court at a later date.

Elmira Police arrest woman for welfare fraud; nearly $10,000 fraudulently received

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Elliandra Batista was arrested on an active Elmira City Court Warrant after Elmira Police alleged she filed fraudulent paperwork with the Department of Social Services and received nearly $10,000 in Daycare Subsidy Benefits she was not entitled to.

Batista was arrested on Sept. 21 and charged with Welfare Fraud 3rd Degree, Grand Larceny 3rd Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing 1st Degree. The first two charges are Class D felonies, and the third is a Class E felony.

An investigation conducted by the Department of Social Services Special Investigation Unit and the Elmira Police Dept alleges “that Batista did file fraudulent paperwork with the Department of Social Services and received $9,958.50 in Daycare Subsidy Benefits she was not entitled to receive.”