A total of five area residents have been arrested and charged in connection with welfare fraud.
The arrests stem from an investigation by the Ulster County Department of Social Services Special Investigation Unit, along with the Ulster County District Attorney's Office.
Those arrested were:
Imani Heyward, 30 of Ellenville, was arrested on Wednesday, Nov. 27, and charged with the felonies of welfare fraud, grand larceny and two counts of offering a false instrument for filing.
Heyward was arrested after an investigation found she had allegedly applied for and received SNAP benefits, then recertified for the SNAP benefits between December 2018 and October, claiming three children living in her household, when in fact the children have been living elsewhere, in the custody of relatives.
Heyward also did not reveal the fact that she was gainfully employed to the Department of Social Services, resulting in payments totaling $4,729.00 in SNAP benefits that she was not entitled to.
Kimberly Gary, 26 of Highland, was arrested and charged on Nov. 21, with felony offering a false instrument for filing and welfare fraud.
An investigation revealed that on July 22, Gary filed an application for and began receiving SNAP benefits for a child who does not live with her. As a result, Gary received $696 in SNAP benefits she was not entitled to.
Shawna Genosky, 46 and Ronald Searl, 51, both of West Hurley, each charged with on Nov. 19 with three counts of felony offering a false instrument for filing and welfare fraud.
An investigation discovered that between December 2017 and July, the couple filed several applications for SNAP benefits, not disclosing the fact that Searl had been receiving self-employment income from his contracting business.
Amber Gontz, 26 of Saugerties, was on Nov. 6 and charged with two counts of offering a false instrument for filing, welfare fraud and petit larceny.
An investigation revealed that Gontz had applied for and received SNAP benefits for a child who did not live with her. Resulting in Gontz receiving $569 in SNAP benefits that she was not entitled to.
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