March 01, 2011

Colonie Mom welfare fraud of $95,000: ‘I was unaware that I needed to report the children’s bank accounts’

Remember the November story about the Colonie mother that received about $95,000 in benefits from welfare and SSI combined back in 2009?  Well now she is going to get a possible 7 1/3 to 20 years in federal prison.

Angela Lopez, 37, claims that she did not know that she was obligated to report her income to welfare and SSI.  On top of that, each of her three children had $50,000 in the bank, each...  She claimed in court that she did not think she had to report that either.

“I was unaware that I needed to report the children’s bank accounts,” Lopez told an Albany County welfare fraud investigator in a statement she signed Oct. 19, 2009. “I didn’t report this income because my husband was not working and I thought I was under the income levels for food stamps and Medicaid.”

Prosecutors state that Lopez received $65,000 from Albany County Department of Social Services, and another $29,000 from the Social Security Benefits.

“I know we struggle and never have extra (money),” she stated. “It only goes to bills. We were way below income to be eligible for Medicaid … I did not know about any guidelines for SSI. I was informed differently today.”

Should she get prison time?  Does sending a woman to prison for that many years, to only have tax payers pay for her food and shelter again sound like justice?  How about making her pay back the money, oh lets say, by working it off!  What do you think, is this justice by giving her prison time?

View full story here

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