Five county residents were arrested for welfare fraud in Social Services Investigator Michael Villa’s latest sweep.
Among other things, four of the five were charged with first-degree offering of a false instrument, a class E felony. In layman’s terms they allegedly lied on an application in order to be eligible for support.
Faked employment search forms are one of the most common type of “false instrument.” To stay in the welfare system, recipients must apply for 10 different jobs and send a list of the businesses to social services. The idea is to prove a desire to get out of the system.
In a past Gazette interview, Villa said many recipients pick out businesses at random and claim that they filled out an application.
Ericka Reali, 35, Milagros Miranda, 48, and Michelle Abatecola, 40, all of Amsterdam were arrested and charged with first-degree offering of a false instrument.
Jayde Hoffman, 36, of Fultonville was charged with two counts of welfare fraud and three counts of offering a false instrument for lying on applications to get $4,397 in aid she was not entitled to.
Kacia Kuntzsh, 22, of St. Johnsville was charged with welfare fraud. She allegedly did not report she was working and received $2,061.05 in medical aid she was not entitled to.
All are scheduled to return to Town of Mohawk Court Tuesday.