October 14, 2011

Mangano Announces Additional Cases Being Referred To DA's Office
DSS Office of Investigations Uncovers More Than $190,000 in Welfare Fraud, Waste & Abuse

Following the arrest this week ofa DSS welfare examiner for diverting funds to clients’ benefit cards, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced today that the Nassau County Department of Social Services Office of Investigations continues to find individuals attempting to defraud Nassau County taxpayers, most recently discovering elaborate schemes to cheat the system out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“As I have stated before, attempts to defraud the hard working residents of our County will not be tolerated,” stated County Executive Mangano. “There is no excuse for welfare fraud and we in Nassau County will continue to protect taxpayers by rooting out those individuals who are not entitled to benefits or who receive benefits through criminal activity.”

Below are some of the cases being referred to the Nassau County District Attorney’s office for prosecution:

  • A 51-year-old East Meadow man lied about his income and ownership of properties in Manhattan and Flushing resulting in $65,834 in illegal Medicaid payments for him and his family.
  • In Westbury, a 59-year-old man illegally obtained $34,346 in Medicaid benefits after concealing income he received from his neon sign business.
  • A 37-year-old man from Hempstead failed to report to Social Services that he was working off-the-books in New Jersey in order to illegally qualify for $28,858 in Medicaid benefits in NY for himself and his common law wife.
  • A 46-year-old Great Neck woman concealed the fact that she owned a bakery in Great Neck and a rental property in Corona, Queens in order to illegally qualify for $7,004 in Medicaid benefits.
  • In Uniondale, a 34-year-old woman inappropriately received $4,570 in public assistance money by failing to report on her application that she was working at a Wendy’s fast food restaurant.
  • Acting on a confidential tip, the NYS Office of the Medicaid Inspector General also referred a case to DSS involving a 34-year-old single mother from Elmont who reported to DSS she was unemployed. The Inspector General had reason to believe the mother was employed and living with the father of her children. A DSS investigation revealed that the woman has been living with her children’s father in a home she purchased in 2006 for $453,000. Both parents work full-time. Since 2009 the mother works full-time at JFK Airport and also works part-time in the Green Acres Mall. The combined unreported income for the parents in 2010 came to over $338,000. As a result of these fraudulent actions, this woman and her children received $51,102 in illegal Medicaid benefits.

In addition to prosecution, the county will be looking for full restitution from individuals convicted of welfare fraud in an effort to reimburse county taxpayers.

“Once Social Services staff suspected fraud, they immediately forwarded information to our Office of Investigations,” stated DSS Commissioner Dr. John Imhof. “We provide benefits to eligible residents of Nassau County and it’s unconscionable that individuals try to cheat the system and jeopardize benefits intended for the truly needy. Rest assured - those who defraud Medicaid will be caught, indicted and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

DSS Director of Investigations Scott Skrynecki added, “Staff from the Office of Investigations are committed to collaborate with colleagues throughout Social Services to eliminate Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse. Through information sharing, using sophisticated technology and staying ahead of emerging fraud trends, investigators will continue to stamp out fraud in our County. ”

To report questionable practices in programs such as Medicaid, Day Care, Food Stamps, Public Assistance and Family Health Plus, call 1-877-711-TIPS (8477). All calls are completely confidential and callers can remain anonymous.