A Port Washington woman was charged Thursday after the County Department of Social Services learned she illegally collected Medicaid and food stamps, and failed to report income from a nearly $1 million house sale, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
Linda Scialo, 57, was arraigned before Nassau County District Court Judge William Hohauser on charges of welfare fraud in the third degree, grand larceny in the third degree and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree.
She was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court on May 2. Singas’ office said.
If convicted, Scialo could face up to 2 1⁄3 to 7 years in prison on the top charge.
“Benefits like Medicaid and food stamps are paid for by the public to support those in our communities who need the most help, and any abuse of this system is a crime against every taxpayer,” Singas said. “My office will continue to work with DSS and other partners to root out theft from government coffers.”
Singas said that between March 2010 and December 2013, Scialo is alleged to have underreported her income to the county Department of Social Services in order to illegally receive Medicaid and food stamp benefits totaling $38,940.
Scialo also is accused of failing to report a monthly income of $5,000, pursuant to divorce proceedings, from the August 2012 sale of her Port Washington home for $975,000.
Assistant District Attorney Connie Gentile of Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case.
Scialo is represented by Michael Director. Reached by phone, he declined to comment on her case.