Brooklyn DA Busts 32 Alleged Welfare Fraud Cheats: Nearly $1 Million in Fraud Alleged

According to the Brooklyn (Kings County) District Attorneys Office, 32 people have been arrested and indicted in connection to individual incidents of Welfare Fraud amounting to nearly $1 million. Although not part of a ring, these individuals face varying felonies including Welfare Fraud in the Second Degree (NY PL 158.20) and Third Degree (158.15), Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (NY PL 155.40) and Third Degree (155.25) as well as multiple counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree (NY PL 175.35). Whether or not they are first time offenders, the crimes range from “E,” “D,” and “C” felonies punishable by up to 4, 7 and 15 years respectively.

According to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office:

“The largest theft is charged to Liz Sobeida, 37, who collected $460,000 in Medicaid benefits for herself and her two children, between 2004 and 2009. Sobeida is charged with claiming to be a single mother on assistance applications, when in fact, her husband, with whom she lived, was employed as a technician at a Cadillac dealership – earning $70,000 in 2009 – and she worked at Brooks Brothers.”

“Another defendant, Marlowe Gershenson, 35, is charged with collecting $63,000 in Medicaid benefits, over the course of six years, despite the fact that her husband, with whom she lives and owns property, owns a clothing wholesale manufacturing company – AV Denim – and a real estate business, MDK Leasing. At one point in 2007, her husband’s checking account had a balance of over $110,000, and on an automobile loan application – she owns a Bentley coupe and a Land Rover SUV – she claimed annual earnings of $500,000, according to the indictment.”

“Ariel, 31, and Joyce Soudry, 28, are charged with stealing $59,000 in Medicaid benefits over five years, while their bank balance exceeded $2.2 million. The couple’s real estate companies own and manage rental properties and develop condominiums in Long Branch, NJ and in Brooklyn. They currently make payments on three luxury cars, including one Mercedes.”

“Shawana Kennedy, AKA Shawana Wade, 33, is charged with stealing $55,000 in Medicaid and Food Stamp assistance during a five-year period. On applications she claimed to be a single mother, when in fact, she lives with her husband, the father of her children, who works for the city Sanitation Department.”

For further information on the crime of Grand Larceny, please follow the link to the Crotty Saland PC website with extensive information on this offense. Additional information can be found on the New York Criminal Lawyer Blog at NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com.

For further information on the crime of Offering a False Instrument for Filing, please follow the link to the New York Criminal Lawyer Blog article on that crime.

Crotty Saland PC is a Manhattan based criminal defense firm representing clients throughout New York City and the region. Prior to starting the firm, both partners served under Robert Morgenthau in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

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