SCHENECTADY -- A New Jersey woman lied about her financial status and her alleged Schenectady residence to illegally take more than $35,000 in welfare benefits, the state Welfare Inspector General's Office said.
The woman, identified as Nicole Tompkins, 30, of Bogota, N.J., claimed no income and said she lived in Schenectady and took the benefits in the form of Medicaid premiums and home heating and food stamp assistance, officials said.
Instead of no income and a residence in Schenectady, however, investigators allege she actually lived in New Jersey with the father of her child. The father, officials said, earned a salary of more than $106,000.
The child was eligible for private health insurance benefits through the father's employment, they said.
Tompkins is accused of taking $22,600 in Medicaid premium benefits for herself and $8,700 in benefits for her child. She also forged documents from a Schenectady landlord, which enabled her to receive more than $5,100 in home heating and food stamp assistance she wasn't entitled to, officials said.
A release did not indicate whether Tompkins had previous Schenectady ties.
She faces three counts of third-degree welfare fraud, five counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and two counts of third-degree grand larceny, all felonies.
Tompkins was arraigned in Schenectady City Court Monday and released to return to court later.
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