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Local residents convicted of welfare fraud

Updated: Tuesday, October 29 2013, 03:49 PM CDT
Posted by: Lauren Gross

HARRISBURG -- The Office of Inspector General announced today that 27 Pennsylvania residents pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and/or were sentenced for their crimes during September.

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

• Niguel L. Barrett, 40, of Carlisle, Cumberland County, received more than $3,400 in cash assistance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Barrett was ordered to pay restitution, costs and fines. He was disqualified from receiving cash assistance for a period of six months, and SNAP benefits for one year.

• Joshua N. Dawber, 31, of Manheim, Lancaster County, received more than $2,000 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Dawber was ordered to pay full restitution. He was disqualified from receiving cash assistance for a period of six months and SNAP benefits for one year.

• Brandy J. Esch, 33, of Ephrata, Lancaster County, received more than $10,000 in SNAP benefits. Esch was sentenced to four years probation and was ordered to pay restitution. She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for one year.

• Edward Kauffman, 41, of Quarryville, Lancaster County, received more than $3,000 in cash assistance and SNAP benefits. Kauffman was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay restitution. He was disqualified from receiving cash assistance for six months and SNAP benefits for one year.

• Jaelle M. Ndamage, 23, of Lancaster, Lancaster County, received more than $1,000 in cash assistance benefits. Ndamage was ordered to pay restitution.  She was disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months.

• Cathy J. Shoff, 52, of York, York County, received more than $3,000 in SNAP benefits. Shoff was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to pay restitution, costs and fines. Shoff was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for one year.

• Rosemary Timmons, 43, of Lancaster, Lancaster County, received more than $1,700 in SNAP benefits. Timmons was ordered to pay restitution. She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for one year.

• Joanna R. Wagner, 26, of Lancaster, Lancaster County, received more than $1,700 in SNAP benefits. Wagner was ordered to pay restitution and costs.  She was disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for one year. 

• John C. Walton, 26, of Lititz, Lancaster County, received more than $2,800 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.

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.Local residents convicted of welfare fraud


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