Welcome!

News Feed Item

Crawford and Luzerne County Women Get Prison for Welfare Fraud

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 42-year-old Mary E. Baker, of Meadville, Crawford County, was ordered incarcerated at the Crawford County Correctional Facility by Judge Mark D. Stevens after pleading guilty to felony welfare fraud charges.  Baker illegally received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in excess of $3,100.

Stevens sentenced Baker to 30 days to 12 months, less one day incarceration.  In addition, Baker was given 12 months probation and ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, and fines.  Baker is also required to perform 25 hours of community service per week for every week she is not gainfully employed for at least 20 hours.  Baker was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.  

36-year-old Devin R. Makarewicz, 36, of Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County was ordered incarcerated at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility by Judge David W. Lupas after pleading guilty to felony welfare fraud charges.  Makarewicz illegally received SNAP and medical assistance benefits in excess of $6,000.

Lupas sentenced Makarewicz to 18 to 48 months incarceration.  In addition, Makarewicz was given 12 months probation and ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, and fines.  Makarewicz was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months. 

The following 19 individuals were also recently prosecuted for fraudulently receiving public assistance benefits:

  • Teresa A. Bamberger, 53, of Chambersburg, Franklin County, received more than $2,000 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.  Bamberger pleaded nolo contendere and was sentenced to 24 months probation, five months electronic monitoring, and was ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, fines, and fees.  She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Melonia Bond, 34, of Lancaster, Lancaster County, received more than $1,950 in SNAP benefits.  Bond pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, and fees.  She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Lois A. Daniels, 23, of Zelienople, Butler County, received $600 in SNAP benefits.  Daniels pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months probation, 25 hours community service, and was ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, fines, and fees.  She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Brenda L. Davis, 28, of Peach Bottom, Lancaster County, received more than $1,000 in SNAP benefits.  Davis pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, and fees.  She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Lacetta M. Higgs, 58, of Meadville, Crawford County, received more than $2,300 in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and SNAP benefits.  Higgs pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 60 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution costs, fees, and fines.  She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Laquisha Lee, 29, of Erie, Erie County, received more than $1,750 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits.  Lee pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 24 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and court costs.  She was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months. 
  • Amy M. Lewis, 34, of Pittston, Luzerne County, received more than $11,500 in medical assistance and SNAP benefits.  Lewis pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months home confinement and 60 months probation.  Lewis was ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, and fees.  She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Randall G. Madden, 45, of Saxton, Bedford County, received more than $4,450 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits.  Madden pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 24 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, fines, and fees.  He was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months. 
  • Brooke N. Miller, 24, of Connellsville, Fayette County, received $1,350 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits.  Miller pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 24 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, and fees.  She was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months. 
  • Frances L. Mitchell, 24, and Nathan R. Mitchell, 27, both of Ephrata, Lancaster County, received more than $1,600 in SNAP benefits.  The Mitchells pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 12 months probation.  They were ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, and fees and were disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Mikki Y. Phillips, 35, of Red Lion, York County, received more than $3,850 in SNAP benefits.  Phillips pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, and fees.  She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Kristian G. Rivera, 24, of Lancaster, Lancaster County, received more than $1,250 in SNAP benefits.  Rivera pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, and fees.  He was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Kenneth Rowe, 26, of Williamsport, Lycoming County, received more than $1,950 in SNAP benefits.  Rowe pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 36 months probation, and was ordered to pay full restitution.  He was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Jennifer L. Spangler, 41, of Ephrata, Lancaster County, received more than $1,100 in SNAP benefits.  Spangler pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay full restitution and court costs.  She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Tobias S. Stanford, 39, Lancaster, Lancaster County, received more than $1,200 in SNAP benefits.  Stanford pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, and fees.  He was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Patrick A. Stidham, 23, of Hanover, York County, received more than $2,150 in SNAP benefits.  Stidham pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 36 months probation, 150 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay full restitution and court costs.  He was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Jennifer Tyme, 36, of Spring Brook Township, Lackawanna County, received more than $1,550 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits.  Tyme pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution, court costs, and fees.  She was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.
  • Michele M. White, 40, of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, received more than $44,500 in Subsidized Child Care (SCC).  White pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years probation and ordered to pay full restitution and court costs.  She was disqualified from receiving SCC benefits for a period of six months.
  • Steven M. Wiest, 51, of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, received more than $1,100 in SNAP benefits.  Wiest pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay full restitution and court costs.  He was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

"These individuals were convicted of defrauding the commonwealth of more than $96,000 of taxpayer dollars that could have been used to help others who truly need assistance.  Only those citizens who qualify for benefits should receive them," Inspector General Michael A. Sprow said. 

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. 

Those 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.

Media contact: James H. Timko, 717-787-6835

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Deep learning has been very successful in social sciences and specially areas where there is a lot of data. Trading is another field that can be viewed as social science with a lot of data. With the advent of Deep Learning and Big Data technologies for efficient computation, we are finally able to use the same methods in investment management as we would in face recognition or in making chat-bots. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Gaurav Chakravorty, co-founder and Head of Strategy Development ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
Imagine having the ability to leverage all of your current technology and to be able to compose it into one resource pool. Now imagine, as your business grows, not having to deploy a complete new appliance to scale your infrastructure. Also imagine a true multi-cloud capability that allows live migration without any modification between cloud environments regardless of whether that cloud is your private cloud or your public AWS, Azure or Google instance. Now think of a world that is not locked i...
Technology innovation is the driving force behind modern business and enterprises must respond by increasing the speed and efficiency of software delivery. The challenge is that existing enterprise applications are expensive to develop and difficult to modernize. This often results in what Gartner calls "Bimodal IT," where business struggle to apply modern tools and practices to traditional monolithic applications. But these existing assets can be modernized and made more efficient without havin...
Most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes a lot of work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reduction in cost...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Auditwerx will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Auditwerx specializes in SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 attestation services throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a division of Carr, Riggs & Ingram (CRI), one of the top 20 largest CPA firms nationally, you can expect the resources, skills, and experience of a much larger firm combined with the accessibility and attent...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, will present a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to max...
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...