Five Rockland County residents were busted for stealing more than $46,000 in welfare benefits, according to Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe.
These defendants are accused of using deceit and fraud to feign a need for rent support and other public benefits.,” said Zugibe. “Taxpayer-subsidized assistance is intended to help the truly needy. Thanks to the diligent actions of investigators, the alleged free ride for these cheats is over.”
The five arrests are the culmination of numerous joint investigations by the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office Special Investigations Unit and the
Rockland County Department of Social Services’ Special Investigations Unit.
“As I have been saying since I became County Executive, we will stop at nothing to root out public corruption in every corner of this county,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day. “It is critical that our agencies work together to protect the taxpayers of Rockland.”
Those arrested included:
- Jermika Depas, 31, of Spring Valley, was charged Thursday with one count of felony welfare fraud, three counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and three counts of offering a forged instrument. She is accused of submitting false documents to the Department of Social Services claiming she was paying rent, when, in fact, she was not. According to the charges, Depas forged her landlord’s signature on documents submitted to the department. She received an overpayment of $5,000 as a result of the alleged ruse.
- Leah Bishop, 29, of Spring Valley, was charged in September 2017, with offering a false instrument for filing. According to the charges, she failed to report the full extent of her income to the Department of Social Services, receiving an overpayment of more than $7,000 as a result.
- Carolyn McLean, 62, of Spring Valley, was charged in October 2017, with offering a false instrument for filing. She is accused of not reporting her full income to the department, receiving an overpayment of $8,000.
- Elana Cineas, 28, of Nanuet, was arrested in December and charged with offering a false instrument for filing and welfare fraud. She is accused of not reporting the full extent of her income, receiving an overpayment of more than $3,000.
- Young Jin Chun, 56, of Airmont, was arrested in December and charged with offering a false instrument for filing. She is accused of failing to report her full income and as a result, received more than $23,000.
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