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Mangano: DSS cites 13 for fraud

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is seeking a

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is seeking a majority vote from the county legislature to issue bonds of up to $305 million to pay property-tax refunds under a bill introduced last night by state Senate Republicans. (June 6, 2013) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced Monday that his Department of Social Services has accused 13 more people of defrauding taxpayers through public assistance, day care and medical claims for about $507,000.

Since April 2011, Nassau DSS, through its Office of Investigations, has identified more than $3.7 million in savings and referred 68 cases that resulted in arrests.

"Those who steal money slated for the neediest of our citizens will be caught [and] prosecuted," Mangano said at a news conference in Mineola.

Neither the defendants nor their businesses were identified by name, but officials said the most recent cases referred for prosecution include:

A Levittown man, 29, who allegedly lied on his Medicaid application and recertifications for five years, illegally getting $92,527 in medical benefits for himself, his wife and two children. He claimed employment at a Mineola card and smoke shop, but was its owner-operator, and had another shop in Bethpage. He reported earning $300 per week, but DSS said his average annual income was more than $80,000 for the last three years.

A Baldwin man, 38, allegedly received $49,673 in Medicaid benefits after failing to report his accurate income. His application reflected earnings just less than $15,000 a year and a rent of $400 a month. But DSS officials said he earned $100,000 in 2010 and $77,000 in both 2011 and 2012. While the man was collecting Medicaid benefits, he and his wife purchased a $300,000 home, with an $89,000 down payment, and claimed a $12,000 "Self-employment health insurance deduction" on their 2011 federal tax returns, officials said.

A restaurant owner from Valley Stream, 40, allegedly lied about her income and housing expenses to qualify for $20,696 in Medicaid benefits for herself and her daughter. She reported a yearly income of $56,000 and $500 monthly rent on her application. But DSS learned that her successful Queens restaurant provided an income of more than $156,000 in 2010 and $126,000 in 2011.

To report questionable practices in programs such as Medicaid, Day Care, food stamps, Public Assistance and Family Health Plus, call 877-711-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.

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