Zero Sum Fraud

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Committing welfare fraud in a county that operates a ”Zero Tolerance” Anti-Fraud, Waste and Abuse Program is clearly a zero sum game. Such is the case with an upstate New York couple who were nabbed by the Ulster County District Attorney in 2014 for stealing almost $44,000 in various social service benefits over a four-year span of time, reports the Daily Freeman.

Beginning in 2010, the couple reportedly submitted to the Ulster County Department of Social Services (DSS) at least five welfare benefits applications that intentionally underreported their total earned income. (A case of zero pride to go along with zero thought for others who were truly eligible for these benefits.)Throughout the following four years, their similarly fraudulent re-certifications for social services benefits programs, such as Temporary Assistance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid, netted them a total of $43,896 in illegal welfare benefits.

Of course, ”Zero Tolerance” finally caught up to them, and a joint probe by the DSS Special Investigations Unit, the District Attorney’s Office and the Town of New Paltz eventually landed the couple before a judge. (Where they earned a big goose egg in sympathy.) Both were hit with multiple felony charges of varying degrees, including welfare fraud in the third degree and five counts of first degree offering a false Instrument for filing. After the husband pleaded guilty to the third degree welfare fraud charge, he was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to repay DSS for the outstanding balance of the stolen funds. (His wife also faces conviction—next in line, please, zero waiting time!)

It goes without saying: If you live in a place with ”Zero Tolerance” for welfare fraud, steal at your own risk.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on ”New Paltz man gets probation in $44,000 welfare fraud case,” published by the Daily Freeman on February 8, 2016.

KINGSTON >> A New Paltz man has admitted to defrauding the Ulster County Department of Social Services of nearly $44,000, but won’t face jail time, according to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.

Jeffrey Dimarco, 55, of New Paltz, pleaded guilty in Ulster County Court Thursday to welfare fraud, a felony. Authorities said Dimarco, over a period of four years, illegally obtained benefits totaling $43,896 from the Ulster County Department of Social Services by failing to report all income being earned by members of his household.

Dimarco was sentenced to five years probation, one year disqualification of benefits and repayment of the remaining monies owed ($23,896) as a special condition of probation. Dimarco’s wife, Carmen, is also facing welfare fraud charges.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.