For the C-S-E
FONDA — Montgomery County’s Department of Social Services Welfare Fraud Invest-igation Unit last Wednesday announced six arrests of residents accused of illegally collecting benefits, including a Palatine Bridge woman who allegedly collected more than $13,000 in Medicaid benefits in spite of working over the course of several years.
Supervising Inv. Michael Villa said Robin Lee Clark, 51, of 2051 Wagnors Hollow Road, was charged with third-degree welfare fraud, Class D felony, and three counts of offering a false instrument for filing, Class E felonies.
Villa said Clark submitted false information and received benefits amounting to $13,067.30, but failed to report her income though she was working from September 2009 through March.
“She was making a fairly good salary to boot,” Villa said.
Considering the amount Clark had collected, Villa agreed it was a substantial amount of money.
“But to think about what we catch and what gets through, that’s what’s scary,” Villa said. “We have hundreds and hundreds of applicants, but even with only six-part time [investigators], I’m very proud of our work. The taxpayers are looking for someone to say they’re looking out for them, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Other arrests included:
• Patrick Murphy, 32, of 2 Pleasant Place, Canajoharie, was charged with fourth-degree welfare fraud, Class E felony, because he reportedly failed to disclose he was receiving unemployment benefits. Murphy received $1,296 in temporary assistance and $496 in food stamps.
• Pamela Oliver-Hazzard, 58, of 403 Route 80, Fort Plain, was charged with fourth-degree welfare fraud, Class E felony, because she failed to report she was working and received $2,790.55 in Medicaid benefits she wasn’t entitled to, a release says.
• Michelle Waterson, 27, of 11 Fourth Ave., Amsterdam, was charged with three counts of fourth-degree offering a false instrument for filing, Class E felony. Officials said she failed to report she was receiving insurance benefits that would have made her ineligible to receive $1,725.44 in temporary assistance.
• Rosa Maldonado, 29, of 240 Vrooman Ave., Amsterdam, was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, Class E felony, because she allegedly filed false job search documents.
• Andrea M. Slater, 32, of 44 Hancock St., Fort Plain, was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing because she filed false job search documents, a release said.
The arrests were made under cooperation from the office of District Attorney James E. “Jed” Conboy, the sheriff’s office and the Amsterdam Police Department.
If anyone suspects welfare fraud, they’re encouraged to contact the investigative unit at 853-8328. All calls are confidential.