Three Lancaster County residents were among the 22 Pennsylvania residents who pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and/or were sentenced for their crimes during August, according to the Office of Inspector General (OIG).
"The commonwealth is committed to helping those who truly need public assistance. Individuals who cheat the welfare system take away funds from Pennsylvanians in need," Inspector General Michael A. Sprow said in a press release issued yesterday (26 September).
The OIG identified the three Lancaster County residents as Frankie E. Ellison, Venessa L. Haddock and John C. Walton.
Ellison, 40, of Lancaster, reportedly received more than $2,000 in cash assistance and SNAP Benefits. He was ordered to pay restitution and was disqualified from receiving cash assistance for a period of six months and SNAP benefits for one year.
Haddock, 28, also of Lancaster, is said to have received more than $2,200 in cash assistance. She was also ordered to pay restitution and costs. In addition, she was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for six months.
Walton, 26, of Lititz, received more than $2,850 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. In addition to paying restitution, he was disqualified from receiving cash assistance for six months and SNAP benefits for one year.
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. Readers may call the Welfare Fraud Tipline at 1-800-932-0582 to report any suspected fraud. Callers may remain anonymous.
The video is related to the issue but does NOT feature any of the individuals named in the article.
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