A Rockland County woman has been convicted of fraud and forging documents following a jury trial.
Jermika Depas, 32, of Spring Valley, was found guilty of one count of welfare fraud, three counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, and three counts of filing a false document, all felonies, in order to receive rent-free living assistance, said the Rockland County District Attorney's Office.
“This defendant used deceit and fraud to feign a need for rent support and other public benefits," said District Attorney Thomas Zugibe. "Taxpayer-subsidized assistance is intended to help the truly needy. This conviction will send a message to those who consider doing the same in the future.”
Depas, while living rent-free at 62 Branchwood Lane in Nanuet, filed three applications between March of 2015 and June of 2016 for welfare benefits with the Rockland County Department of Social Services. The applications contained letters ostensibly from Depas’ landlord which falsely confirmed that Depas was paying rent.
The jury concluded that the signature of the landlord was a forgery and that as a result of the fraud, she received $4,700 in welfare benefits that she was not entitled to, the DA's Office said.
Depas, who faces seven years in state prison, is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 30.
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