Rachel (Stra) Hare defrauded Wyoming County of $23,779 by failing to report marriage

By MATT SURTEL
MSURTEL@BATAVIANEWS.COM

PUBLISHED: TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2019 AT 6:14 PM

WARSAW — The mother of a little girl who was murdered in 1997 is facing felony charges after allegedly defrauding Wyoming County of $23,779.73.

Rachel S. (Stra) Hare, 48, of Gainesville was the mother of 7-year-old Samantha Zaldivar, who was found dead after being reported missing from their home in February 1997. Hare — who was still known as Rachel Stra at the time — pleaded guilty in 1998 to one count of hindering prosecution in connection with the case, and was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge as part of a plea deal.

Hare was charged Monday in connection with an unrelated and more recent welfare fraud investigation. She had allegedly failed to report she had been married since 2014.

By failing to report the marriage and exceeding the resource limit for a married couple, Hare received a total of $23,779.73 in county taxpayer and Social Security Administration benefits to which she was not entitled, said Wyoming County Sheriff’s Investigator Ken Tisdale.

Hare was charged with felony fourth-degree welfare fraud, fourth-degree grand larceny, and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. She is to appear March 25 in Warsaw Town Court.

The investigation was conducted by the sheriff’s office, the county Department of Social Services and the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General.

The Samantha Zaldivar case was arguably Wyoming County’s most-infamous and generated intensive media attention at the time.

Samantha was reported missing from her Wethersfield home by Angel Colon, Hare’s fiance at the time. He had called deputies to say Samantha hadn’t gotten off the school bus at the usual time, and he’d been looking for her unsuccessfully.

A massive search by about 1,000 police and volunteers ensued, but the little girl remained missing until her remains were discovered three months later in a shallow grave by a farmer plowing a field near the residence.

Colon was eventually arrested and ultimately pleaded guilty to murder in what was initially a death penalty case. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Albany County Welfare Fraud Bust

Ravena woman among welfare fraud bust

 
Apr 12, 2019
Ortiz-Ramirez
By Kate Lisa
Capital Region Independent Media
ALBANY — A Ravena woman is one of 14 people arrested on welfare fraud charges totaling over $110,000, police said Friday.
Cynthia M. Ortiz-Ramirez, 36, was charged with third-degree grand larceny and third-degree welfare fraud, both class D felonies; and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, a class E felony, according to a statement from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office.
Ortiz-Ramirez failed to report her child support income to the Albany County Department of Social Services and is accused of fraudulently stealing $11,203.50, police said.
She was arraigned in the city of Albany Criminal Court and released pending future court appearances, according to the sheriff’s office.
Ortiz-Ramirez is one of 14 people arrested on welfare fraud charges since March 7 after the county sheriff’s office and county Department of Social Services investigated welfare fraud in Albany County. The alleged fraud totaled $110,996.32, police said.
Many of the accused completed benefit applications with false information to deceive the Department of Social Services and obtain fraudulent benefits, according to the sheriff’s office.
The 13 others who were charged are:
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Rochester Nail Salon Owner Charged With Defrauding The SNAP Program

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Hang T. Lam, 46, of Rochester, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with the unauthorized use, transfer, acquisition, and possession of USDA food stamp benefits. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle P. Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, in April 2018, the Monroe County Department of Social Services (DSS) developed information that Young’s Nails, which is owned and operated by the defendant, was trafficking in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/food stamp benefits for cash, nail services, and other non-food items. Young’s Nails does not sell food and is not authorized to accept SNAP benefits. Continue reading