DISTRICT ATTORNEY HUBBARD ANNOUNCES CONVICTION AND RECOVERY IN WELFARE FRAUD CASE
Delaware County recovers $5,983.00 in Welfare Fraud Conviction.
Delaware County District Attorney John Hubbard today announced the recovery of $5,983.00 in Public Assistance Benefits. Michael Walters, 33, of Harpersfield, N.Y. made payment of $5,983.00 to the Delaware County Department of Social Services and was further disqualified from receiving public benefits for at least one year. This recovery is the result of a lengthy investigation by the Delaware County Department of Social Services Fraud Investigations Unit.
The investigation revealed that Walters had been operating an illegal automotive salvage yard in the Towns of Davenport and Harpersfield while he was also receiving Food Stamps and HEAP (heating energy assistance program). When Walters applied for Food Stamps and HEAP he indicated that he had income from an automotive scrapping business. However, the investigator determined that he substantially underreported his annual gross income by tens of thousands of dollars. This substantial unreported income made him ineligible for any type of public assistance.
Walters was convicted of Welfare Fraud in the 5th degree, a Class A Misdemeanor, on May 4, 2021, in Delhi Town Court. The defendant paid restitution in the amount of $5,8983.00 to Delaware County at the time of his sentencing. The Court sentenced the defendant to a one-year conditional discharge, a fine in the amount of $250.00 and he was disqualified from receiving public assistance benefits for a period of one year.
This is the most recent conviction stemming from Welfare Fraud in Delaware County, and District Attorney Hubbard stated, “My office will continue to vigorously prosecute Welfare Fraud in Delaware County. I applaud the hard work of our County’s Welfare Fraud Investigators. They have been able to identify false applications and secure the necessary evidence to enable my office to prosecute these cases. Those who submit knowingly false applications should be accountable so the integrity of our public assistance programs is maintained.”
The District Attorney’s office will continue to work in partnership with the Department of Social Services to ensure the integrity of these 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.