Delaware County District Attorney John Hubbard today announced the recovery of Public Assistance Benefits in excess of $60,000.00. Heather Becker and her husband Fred Becker, of Sidney, NY made payment of $61,821.21 to the Delaware County Department of Social Services and they were each further disqualified from receiving public benefits. This recovery is the result of a lengthy investigation by the Delaware County Department of Social Services Fraud Investigations Unit. The investigation revealed that over the course of five years, Heather Becker submitted written documents to the Department of Social Services in which she failed to report her household income in its entirety, and as a result, received SNAP and Medicaid benefits to which she was not entitled.
This prosecution was the result of an investigation conducted by DSS investigators. DSS investigators referred the case to my office for prosecution after they determined that the Beckers had rental income from multiple properties, along with other liquid assets of over 1.8 million dollars.
District Attorney Hubbard stated, “This is an egregious case of welfare fraud, based upon the large amount of the defendants’ unreported income. We were able to determine that the defendants owned, mortgage free, at least six rental properties in Delaware County alone. They attempted to conceal such a substantial amount of income from DSS in an effort to get public assistance benefits designed to assist truly impoverished individuals.”
This is the latest recovery of taxpayer money from those who fraudulently obtained Welfare benefits in Delaware County. District Attorney Hubbard stated, “We have recovered over $380,000.00 so far this year. That amount has actually been restored to Delaware County, and does not include other cases in which the defendants have been convicted of welfare fraud and ordered to pay restitution.
“We will continue to prosecute this fraudulent activity, in an effort to ensure that money isn’t diverted from programs designed to help the needy,” District Attorney Hubbard stated.
The District Attorney’s office will continue to work in partnership with the Department of Social Services to ensure the integrity of public assistance programs. If you would like to report Welfare Fraud to the Delaware County Department of Social Services, please contact the Welfare Fraud Hotline at (607) 832-5404.