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Local people charged with welfare fraud

Updated: Thursday, September 26 2013, 04:08 PM CDT
Posted by: Lauren McLane

HARRISBURG -- Twenty-two Pennsylvania residents pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and/or were sentenced for their crimes during August, the Office of Inspector General announced today.

“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.  

The following individuals in our area were prosecuted and sentenced for fraudulently receiving public assistance benefits:

• Justin J. Billet, 32, of York, York County, received more than $2,900 in SNAP benefits. Billet was sentenced to four years probation, must complete 50 hours of community service and was ordered to pay restitution and costs. He was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for one year. 

• Frankie E. Ellison, 40, of Lancaster, Lancaster County, received more than $2,000 in cash assistance and SNAP Benefits. Ellison was ordered to pay restitution. He was disqualified from receiving cash assistance for a period of six months and SNAP benefits for one year.

• Venessa L. Haddock, 28, of Lancaster, Lancaster County received more than $2,200 in cash assistance. Haddock was ordered to pay restitution and costs. She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for six months.

• John C. Walton, 26, of Lititz, Lancaster County, received more than $2,850 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Walton was ordered to pay restitution. He was disqualified from receiving cash assistance for six months and SNAP benefits for one year.

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.Local people charged with welfare fraud


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