Olean man charged with grand larceny, welfare fraud

CATTARAUGUS COUNTY — An Olean man faces felony charges for grand larceny and welfare fraud, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday.

David J. Fischer, 36, of 118 S. 14th St., was charged at 9 a.m. Tuesday with third-degree grand larceny and third-degree welfare fraud, both class D felonies.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Fischer allegedly fraudulently received $3,027 in food stamps by concealing and failing to report income.

Voorheesville women among 9 county residents arrested on welfare fraud.

ALBANY COUNTY — Josephine Nakajigo, 40, of Voorheesville was among nine people in Albany County arrested this week for welfare fraud, county spokeswoman Mary Rozak said on Wednesday.

The majority of these cases are uncovered by people calling in and giving tips, said Rozak, which is how this investigation got started as well.

Nakajigo is charged with not reporting income and receiving $15,269 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits fraudulently over a period of almost four years, from February 2015 to January 2019, according to Rozak.

Attempts to reach Nakajigo were unsuccessful.

The arrests by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office followed an investigation by the Welfare Fraud Unit of the Albany County Department of Social Services, according to a press release from County Executive Daniel McCoy.

The nine people are charged with taking a total of $105,353 in fraudulent benefits over time periods that ranged from just over a year to more than four-and-a-half years, the release says.

The release gave examples of some of the “most egregious” cases of alleged welfare fraud, including that of Brittney Mitchell, who investigators say received $25,304 in unlawful payments between May 2015 and January 2019, and Yakema Johnson, accused of taking advantage of the system by failing to report her income and receiving $21,970 over the period from February 2016 through November 2018.

In 2017, the release said, the Fraud Unit achieved an overall cost avoidance of over $3,460,000 by denying fraudulent applications for assistance, and closing or re-budgeting active assistance cases where fraud was detected.

Suspects defrauded Ulster County of more than $76,200 in welfare benefits

KINGSTON, N.Y. — A Kingston woman is facing multiple felony charges in connection with the alleged receipt of more than $28,000 in food stamp benefits to which she was not entitled, the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

Her arrest was one of nine reported by authorities Wednesday, alleging fraudulent receipt of welfare benefits totaling more than $76,200.

Toni Dejesus, 50, was arrested by Ulster County sheriff’s deputies on Monday, Aug. 26, and was charged with welfare fraud and grand larceny, along with nine counts of offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies.

Investigators from the District Attorney’s Office found that between Aug. 2013 and July 2019, Dejesus allegedly filed multiple documents regarding her employment and household composition with the Ulster County Department of Social Services, which contained information “that was not truthful and [was] altered,” according to a press release.

Dejesus allegedly received $28,099 in Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits to which she was not entitled, the prosecutor’s office said.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, other recent welfare- and SNAP-related arrests by Ulster County sheriff’s deputies include:

• Dina Taylor, 41, of Gardiner, who was arrested on Saturday, July 24, and charged with welfare fraud and three counts of offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies, in connection with the alleged receipt of more than $17,000 in SNAP and welfare benefits to which she was not entitled.

Investigators from the Ulster County Department of Social Services Special Investigation Unit, along with the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and the Ulster County District Attorney’s office, found that between April 2014 and January 2017, Taylor allegedly filed multiple applications for Medicaid and SNAP benefits with the Department of Social Services without disclosing her income. Due to the undisclosed income, Taylor is alleged to have received $3,817 in SNAP benefits and $13,501.29 in Medicaid benefits to which she was not entitled.

• Yvette Vega, 36, of Middletown, was arrested on Monday, July 22, and charged with welfare fraud, grand larceny and four counts of offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies. Vega is alleged to have received $11,645 in SNAP benefits to which she was not entitled.

Investigators from the Ulster County Department of Social Services Special Investigation Unit, along with the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office, charge that Vega filed multiple applications for SNAP benefits between May 2016 and January 2019 without disclosing that she owned and was operating a business in Orange County. She also failed to disclose the income she received from that business, authorities said.

• Rebecca Martinez, 54, of New Paltz, was arrested Friday, Aug. 23, and charged with welfare fraud and 13 counts of offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies.

Investigators from Social Services and the District Attorney’s Office allege that between April 2015 and July 2019, Martinez filed several falsified documents, applications and recertifications which failed to disclose her total income. Martinez is alleged to have received $10,944 in SNAP benefits to which she was not entitled.

• Natalie Skipp, 39, of Saugerties, was arrested on Wednesday, Aug. 21, and charged with welfare fraud and offering a false instrument for filing (two counts), all felonies, and with making a punishable false written statement, a misdemeanor.

Investigators from Social Services and the District Attorney’s Office allege that Skipp filed for and received $1,860.62 in temporary assistance benefits to house herself and her children during the month of July, when her children were actually in the care and custody of relatives in another state.

• Jasmine Callwood, 30, of Kingston, was arrested on Monday, Aug. 19, and charged with offering a false instrument for filing, a felony, and with welfare fraud, a misdemeanor.

Callwood is alleged to have applied for temporary assistance in July 2019 without disclosing that the gainfully employed father of her children was living in her household.

• Samantha Irizarry, 28, of Ellenville, was arrested on Tuesday, Aug. 13, and charged with two counts of offering a false instrument for filing, both felonies, and with welfare fraud and making a punishable false written statement, both misdemeanors.

Irizarry is alleged to have falsified official documents to extend her stay at a local motel paid for by the Department of Social Services in July. She then allegedly provided a false written statement denying her involvement.

• Magdalene Corbin, 30, of Hurley, was arrested on Thursday, Aug. 1, and charged with offering a false instrument for filing, a felony, and with welfare fraud, a misdemeanor.

Corbin is alleged to have filed an application for temporary assistance without disclosing that her husband, who she listed as an absent parent, was living in her household. Disclosing her husband’s residence would have required Corbin to search for jobs or in the closure of her temporary assistance case, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

• Alan Hogan, 60, of Highland, was arrested on Thursday, Aug. 8, and charged with welfare fraud and offering a false instrument for filing (two counts), all felonies. Between February 2018 and July 2019, it is alleged that Hogan did not disclose his employment, resulting in receipt of $1,054 in SNAP benefits, $2,448 in Medicaid and and $2,841 in home energy assistance to which he was not entitled.

Each of the suspects was released with tickets for Ulster Town Court.