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OIG announces welfare fraud adjudications

Updated: Monday, December 30 2013, 12:03 PM CST
Posted by: Lauren Gross

HARRISBURG -- Eighteen Pennsylvania residents recently pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and/or were sentenced for their crimes, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced today.

The following local individuals were prosecuted for fraudulently receiving public assistance benefits:

• Debra A. Coen, 38, of Lititz, Lancaster County, received more than $2,400 in SNAP benefits. Coen pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines. She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.  

• Krista M. Dziedzic, 42, of Kirkwood, Lancaster County, received more than $1,750 in SNAP benefits. Dziedzic was sentenced to 12 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs.  She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.  

• Susan L. Gibson, 53, of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, received more than $1,258 in SNAP benefits. Gibson pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 23 months probation and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.  

• Fred Hammond, 52, of East Petersburg, Lancaster County, received more than $1,300 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Hammond pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. He was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

• Jessica L. Hartman, 27, of East Petersburg, Lancaster County, received more than $1,100 in cash assistance benefits. Hammond pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines. She was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months.

• Mabel Hinson, 26, of Lancaster, Lancaster County, received more than $6,350 in SNAP benefits. Hinson pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

• Ashley E. Holloway-Jenks, 30, and Mike Jenks, 27, both of Conestoga, Lancaster County, received more than $3,150 in SNAP benefits. They both pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay full restitution. They were both disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

• Karen B. Killian, 36, of Newburg, Cumberland County, received more than $950 in SNAP benefits. Killian pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay full restitution. She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

• Charles T. Mellott, 49, of Chambersburg, Franklin County, received more than $1,150 in SNAP benefits. Mellott pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months probation and ordered to pay full restitution and costs. He was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

• Laura B. Miller, 51, of Lebanon, Lebanon County, received more than $950 in SNAP benefits. Miller pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to pay full restitution, costs and fines. She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

• Jennifer B. Vaughn, 33, of Lebanon, Lebanon County, received more than $1,500 in SNAP benefits. Vaughn pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay full restitution and costs. She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

• Jaida M. Washington, 35, of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, received more than $3,300 in SNAP benefits. Washington pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 24 months probation and was ordered to pay restitution and costs. She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for a period of 12 months.

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.
OIG announces welfare fraud adjudications


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