Clearfield Woman Accused of Falsifying Documents to Obtain Welfare Benefits

handcuffsVENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – A Clearfield woman allegedly falsified documents to obtain welfare benefits for a Venango County man.

According to a criminal complaint, a known man stopped at the Oil City Police Department on August 25, 2016, to speak with an officer regarding a possible identity theft and fraud. The man stated that on August 24, 2016, someone from the Venango County Assistance Office left a message for him to contact them. The known man returned the phone call and was notified that a former employee of his had used his name without consent and permission and had attempted to apply for assistance benefits in his name.

Around 11:20 a.m. on August 25, 2016, Oil City Police Senior Patrolman Ragon called the Venango County Assistance Office in Franklin. When he asked a representative about the incident, there was a long pause, and she stated that she needed to speak to her supervisor. After several seconds, she returned to the phone and stated that they will be 100% cooperative as long as the police department went through the channels and obtained either a subpoena or a search warrant. Officer Ragon asked the representative if she would at least verify that the known male filled out a form, and the representative referred him back to the prior statement. Officer Ragon thanked her for her time, the complaint states.

On August 28, 2016, Officer Ragon served a search warrant at the Department of Human Services for the paperwork referencing the known male requesting assistance. Officer Ragon was able to get a copy of the form in which the known male wrote the victim’s name. Through his investigation, Officer Ragon confirmed that the signature on the paperwork was not the victim’s, the complaint states.

On May 2, 2017, Heather Krouse, of Clearfield, returned a phone call from Officer Ragon and allegedly admitted that she had signed the assistance form for the former male employee (mentioned earlier in this report) and that the individual was not aware that she had signed it. She also gave a written statement admitting that she was the one who filled out the paperwork, the complaint continues.

Krouse was engaged to the former male employee.

It is unclear if Krouse was living with the male employee at the time of the incident.

According to online court documents, Krouse’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on June 21 in front of Magisterial District Judge Andrew F. Fish.

She faces the following charges:

– Tampering with Records or Identification, Misdemeanor 1
– Identity Theft, Misdemeanor 1

She was issued a first class summons.

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