Area Residents Charged With Welfare Fraud

HARRISBURG, Pa. (EYT) – Three Armstrong County residents are among the 64 Pennsylvanians who were charged with welfare fraud in April.

The Office of the Inspector General filed three cases of third degree misdemeanors of fraudulently receiving public assistance against the following individuals:

Lynsey M. Russell, 25, of Kittanning, Armstrong County, for $772.00 in SNAP fraud.

Edward D. Sturgeon, Jr., 34, of Sagamore, Armstrong County, for $748.00 in SNAP fraud.

Ashly M. Lynch, 28, of Sagamore, Armstrong County, for $748.00 in SNAP fraud.

If convicted, the maximum penalty they would face is one year in prison and a fine of $2,500.00, plus a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program they defrauded, according to the Office of Inspector General.

Other Cases:

– Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General has charged 37-year-old Robin Rice, of Titusville, Venango County, for $4,451.00 in SNAP fraud. If convicted, the maximum penalty she faces is seven years in prison and a fine of $15,000.00, plus a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program she defrauded.

– Dana R. Pryor, 25, of Williamsport, Lycoming County, was charged for selling $106.96 in SNAP benefits on her Electronic Benefit Transfer Access (EBT) card in exchange for cash to purchase $30.00 worth of heroin. If convicted, the maximum penalty she faces is five years in prison and a fine of $10,000.00, plus a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program shedefrauded.

– Misty R. Hunter, 35, of Tidioute, Warren County, was charged with a third degree felony for $37,767.00 in SNAP fraud, $11,842.98 in medical assistance fraud, and $3,299.34 in LIHEAP fraud. If convicted, the maximum penalty she faces is seven years in prison and a fine of $15,000.00, plus a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program she defrauded.

A total of 64 Pennsylvanians have been charged with welfare fraud. The charges will generate $287,659.80 in restitution paid to the commonwealth.

Inspector General Bruce R. Beemer said. “Our investigators are zealous in pursuing all cases, regardless of the amount, because it’s taxpayer money and stopping fraud means making those benefits available to Pennsylvanians who truly need them.”

To report suspected fraud, please call the Welfare Fraud Tipline at 1-800-932-0582 or visit the OIG website at www.oig.pa.gov. Tipsters may remain anonymous.


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