The Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General announced that twenty people were sentenced for welfare fraud. The alleged crimes involved fraudulent claims for SNAP food benefits and cash assistance benefits. Many of the accused individuals were sentenced to probation, and their probation sentences ranged between about six months to two years.
One of the individuals who was recently sentenced for welfare fraud was a 44-year-old woman from McKeesport. She was sentenced to two years of probation after she pleaded guilty to receiving over $3,800 worth of food stamps. As part of her sentence, the woman was also required to pay court costs and full restitution. The accused woman will be ineligible for SNAP benefits for one year as a result of her charge.
A 30-year-old woman from Pittsburgh was also sentenced for welfare fraud. She pleaded nolo contendere to a charge that she fraudulently received over $1,300 in government cash benefits. The woman received a one-year probation sentence, and she was ordered to cover courts costs and pay full restitution. She will be ineligible for cash assistance benefits for six months. A 56-year-old man from Pittsburgh received an 18-month probation sentence for food stamp fraud. He pleaded guilty to fraudulently receiving over $2,750 in SNAP benefits. Because he was disqualified for SNAP benefits once before, he will be ineligible for food stamps for two years.
Many people who are charged for welfare fraud do not understand their legal rights. An attorney may be able to help an individual who is facing this type of charge to dispute their charge by presenting the appropriate financial documentation. If a person was previously convicted for welfare fraud, an attorney may be able to help the individual to appeal the court's decision.
Source: Chartiers Valley Patch, "Four Allegheny County Residents Sentenced for Welfare Fraud," Nicholas Cardoso, Feb. 6, 2015