Charges have been filed against 10 Rockland County individuals for alleged social service fraud after referrals from the Rockland County Department of Social Services.
The defendants – who range in age from 24 to 58 – allegedly falsified applications submitted to the Rockland County Department of Social Services between 2008 and 2011, making it possible for each to fraudulently receive a variety of public assistance benefits, including Medicaid benefits, Social Security benefits and New York State unemployment assistance. The losses to Rockland County are thought to exceed $43,000.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said, “Medicaid, food stamps and unemployment benefits are all finite resources of critical importance. These individuals not only cheated the system, but also cheated law-abiding Rockland County taxpayers who play by the rules. Any criminal found stealing from programs intended to help our county’s poor will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“The ongoing professional collaboration between the County’s Department of Social Services and the Rockland County District Attorney has resulted in the detection of fraud in several Medicaid and other important social safety-net programs,” said Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef. “As a result of their diligence, swift and certain prosecution has dealt a severe blow to offenders.”
The defendants are accused of concocting various schemes to steal welfare benefits, including underreporting income, concealing home and/or business ownership, using false names and bogus social security information and providing misleading household composition.
In one case, Jonathan Desvarieux (DOB 11/24/87) of 311 North Main Street, Spring Valley, New York is accused of falsely reporting that he was unemployed when recertifying eligibility for Social Services/Medicaid benefits between September, 2009 and February, 2011. An investigation revealed that he was working at a Rockland County Dunkin’ Donuts location during the same period. It is alleged that Desvarieux received benefits totaling $12,887 to which he was not entitled.
The defendants are variously charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class “E” Felony and Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony.
A class “D” Felony is punishable by 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison and a class “E” Felony is punishable by up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.
The arrests of the defendants resulted from an investigation conducted by the Rockland County Special Investigations Unit, with the assistance of the Rockland County Department of Social Services Special Investigations Unit, the New York State Department of Labor and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General.
“Each and every day, residents needing assistance for themselves and their families contact us. It is our legal responsibility to make sure that those who need assistance and qualify for our programs receive appropriate services,” said Susan Sherwood, Rockland County’s Commissioner of Social Services. “People who receive benefits illegally take time, effort and resources that should be used for the growing number of truly needy individuals and families in our County.”
List of Defendants
Astrel Auborg (DOB 05/20/61) Wife
Georges Falaise (05/18/63) Husband
50 Springbrook Road, Nanuet, NY 10954
Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony – $6,569
John Corry (DOB 07/31/53)
199 Goebel Road, New City, NY 10956
Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony – $3,146
Michael Lafuentes (DOB 02/27/80)
9 Overlook Road, New City, NY 10956
Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony – $6,743
Chana Landau (DOB 06/01/78) Wife
63 Carlton Road, Monsey, NY 10952
Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony – $3,513
Israel Landau (02/23/75) Husband
61 Carlton Road, Monsey, NY 10952
Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony
Corwin Moore (DOB 12/19/72)
110 Union Road, Apt. 1E, Spring Valley, NY 10977
Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class “E” Felony – $2,002
Naftali Wagschal (DOB 05/03/82)
6 Horizon Court, Monsey, New York 10952
Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony – $4,167
Jonathan Desvarieux (DOB 11/24/87)
311 North Main Street, Spring Valley, NY 10977
Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony – 12,887
Angela Smartt (DOB 01/25/68)
5 George Street, Apt. 5, Spring Valley, NY 10977
Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony – $3,516