SCHENECTADY – A New Jersey woman was sentenced this week to restitution and community service after admitting she illegally took more than $35,000 in welfare benefits in Schenectady, the state Inspector General’s Office said.
She did so by claiming he had no money and resided in Schenectady, but instead lived in New Jersey with the father of her child who had a salary of more than $106,000, officials said.
Nicole Tompkins, 30, of Bogota, N.J., pleaded guilty to three counts of fifth-degree welfare fraud, one count of petit larceny and one count of second-degree offering a false instrument for filing, all misdemeanors.
She was then sentenced to pay full restitution, plus fines, and to perform 120 hours of community service. She was also barred from seeking SNAP benefits for a year.
“While the welfare system provides a crucial safety net to those in need, this woman falsely claimed poverty and siphoned aid that cheated taxpayers,” Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro said in a statement. “This egregious abuse of social services for personal gain is now bringing real consequences.”
Tompkins was originally charged in May. Officials said she illegally took the benefits in the form of Medicaid premiums and home heating and food stamp assistance.