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Mathew Sutphen gets community service, must repay $167,000 in welfare fraud case

A Massapequa man who along with his wife was convicted of welfare fraud was sentenced Tuesday to 210 hours of community service, and was ordered to repay more than $167,000 in tax benefits that prosecutors said he stole.

Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office said that between April 2004 and November 2009, Mathew Sutphen, 52, and his wife, Angela Sutphen, 54, stole more than $167,000 in Medicaid and public assistance benefits by underreporting their income and assets, according to a news release. The couple also failed to disclose that they owned timeshares, a co-op in Florida and a second home in Suffolk County, as well as their ownership of Cornerstone Bancor Mortgage Co., Rice's office said.

Mathew Sutphen was sentenced Tuesday by Acting Nassau County Court Judge Erica Prager to a conditional discharge, community service and restitution of $167,240.79. Sutphen pleaded guilty to second-degree welfare fraud, a C felony, in January 2012, according to the news release.

His wife pleaded guilty to fifth-degree welfare fraud, an A misdemeanor, in January 2013. She was sentenced on March 4 to a conditional discharge and 210 hours of community service.

Mathew Sutphen is the last of eight defendants arrested in a Nassau countywide welfare-fraud sting in which eight people have collectively been ordered to repay more than $500,000 for benefits they were not entitled to receive, the news release said.

The couple was also charged in an identity theft case in 2010 after Suffolk prosecutors said they stole the identities of two victims to obtain $1 million in credit. Authorities said the Sutphens, while operating Cornerstone Bancor Mortgage in Massapequa, used the names and identities of an employee and a potential customer to get a business line of credit worth $1 million and a mortgage bond of $40,000.

Records show Mathew Sutphen pleaded guilty to identity theft, a felony, and Angela Sutphen pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a forged instrument, also a felony.

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