New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro today announced the guilty plea and sentencing of a Middletown resident who stole more than $4,000 from the state by using a fake identity to work while also receiving welfare benefits.
Jennifer Calderon, 36, of Middletown, pled guilty today before Hon. Craig Stephen Brown in Orange County Court to Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree (D Felony) and was sentenced to probation. She must also pay full restitution.
“This individual is being held accountable for lying about her identity to cheat the welfare system,” Inspector General Tagliafierro said. “We will continue to pursue anyone who attempts to defraud our critical social safety net programs, including welfare.”
An investigation by the Inspector General found that Calderon also worked at a local food packing company – Goodness Gardens, Inc. – while collecting wage replacement benefits by using a fake identity. Using the alias “Deniss Figuereo,” Calderon submitted employment and tax documents using the name along with a fake date of birth and fake social security number. While working at Goodness Gardens, Calderon submitted written certification to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in Orange County, stating that she was not working or receiving any income. The misrepresentations caused her to wrongfully receive SNAP benefits she was not entitled to, in the amount of $4,135.
The Offices of the Inspector General thanked the Orange County Department of Social Services for their investigative support, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance with the arrest, and Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler and his office for prosecuting this case.