ALBANY — A state Department of Health Medicaid eligibility examiner illegally took more than $57,000 in welfare and public housing benefits to which she wasn't entitled, according to the state Inspector General's Office.
Kimberly Jones, 35, of South Pearl Street, Albany, now faces multiple felony counts, including third-degree grand larceny.
Jones repeatedly filed false documents to illegally obtain food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing, officials said.
She did so by lying about her childcare expenses and household makeup over a period of three years, from March 2013 to April 2016, officials said.
Jones worked as a Medicaid eligibility examiner through much of the time she illegally took benefits, officials said.
Since late 2016, she has held the title Secretary 1 at the Department of Health, officials said.
Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott noted Jones's background as a Medicaid examiner in the report, saying that should have made her fully aware of the appropriate use of benefits.
"This defendant chose fraud and theft to obtain critical benefits to which she was not entitled,” Leahy Scott said in a prepared statement. “I will continue to use all resources at my disposal to pursue corrupt government employees and to protect welfare benefits that are vital to those New Yorkers who are most in need of financial assistance.”
Jones also faces charges of third-degree welfare fraud, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and nine counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.
Jones was arraigned and released to return to court later.