Saratoga County

Thai restaurateurs, 6 others accused of welfare fraud in Albany

Eight people, including the owner of three local Thai restaurants, have been arrested, accused of we
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Categories: Business, Schenectady County

Eight people, including the owner of three local Thai restaurants, have been arrested, accused of welfare fraud in separate cases, Albany County sheriff’s officials said.

In all, the cases represent more than $41,000 in benefits received by individuals not entitled to them, officials said.

In the restaurant case, Pinpong “Teddy” SomBoon, 49, and Garnjana SomBoon, 59, both of 19 Elaine St., Cohoes, were charged with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree welfare fraud, and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies, along with fifth-degree conspiracy, a misdemeanor.

Teddy SomBoon is identified by investigators as the owner of the chain of Blue Spice Thai restaurants in the region, one each in Colonie, Clifton Park and Delmar. Garnjana SomBoon was listed in 2009 as a Blue Spice manager.

They are accused of defrauding the Department of Social Services of over $14,000 after allegedly failing to report actual income on the department application for Medicaid, officials said.

In other cases:

* Etta B. Wray, 45, of 10 Hurlbut St., was charged with third-degree welfare fraud and grand larceny as well as first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies. She is accused of defrauding the department out of more than $4,700 by receiving DSS benefits while also collecting unemployment benefits, officials said.

* Jacqueline M. Gageway, 31, of 21 Maywood Ave., Colonie, was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny welfare fraud and criminal possession of stolen property, both felonies. She is accused of taking more than $1,000 in benefits by stealing two benefit cards from co-workers, changing the PIN numbers and obtaining merchandise from Price Chopper, officials said.

* Charles R. McLaughlin, 47, of 21 Cadillac St., Colonie, was charged with third-degree grand larceny and welfare fraud as well as first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. He is accused of taking $6,500 he wasn’t entitled to by failing to report income on his DSS application, officials said.

* Iris B. Brown, 54, of 69 Bradford St., Albany, was charged with third-degree grand larceny and welfare fraud as well as first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. She is accused of taking more than $9,300 she wasn’t entitled to by applying for assistance to take care of her niece, whom she falsely claimed was living with her, officials said.

* Jessica M. Rosario, 26, of 8 Congress St., Cohoes, was charged with third-degree grand larceny and welfare fraud as well as first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. She is accused of taking more than $3,000 by receiving funds for day care services while the children’s father was available to provide the care, officials said.

* Shantell Payne, 36, of 11 Lark St., was charged with second-degree criminal use of a benefit card, a misdemeanor, and misuse of food stamps, a felony. She is accused of taking more than $2,200 by selling her benefit cards to local stores for cash, officials said.

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