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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Steuben Sheriff: 5 arrested in welfare fraud crackdown

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  • A crackdown on welfare fraud has resulted in five arrests, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reported Friday.
    The following residents were arrested as a result of a joint investigation by deputies and Department of Social Services fraud unit:
    • Kathlen Figueroa, 53, of Bath, was charged with second-degree falsifying business documents, a misdemeanor. Figueroa allegedly altered a document issued by the Department of Social Services to obtain additional benefits. She will appear in Bath Village Court at a later date.
    • Roger Ross, 54, of Addison, was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, both felonies. He allegedly filed false information on a HEAP application and received $1,550 to help pay for wood delivery. Ross did not have a way to heat with wood, deputies said. He will appear in Bath Court at a later date.
    • Michelle M. Fitzgerald, 45, of Bath, was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and fourth-degree grand larceny, both felonies. She allegedly falsified information on her temporary assistance application when she asked for aid for her children who were not living with her at the time. She received $1,228 in additional aid as a result, deputies said. She will appear in Bath Court at a later date.
    • David Speer, 45, and Caroline Speer, 53, of Bath, were both charged with third-degree grand larceny and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, both felonies, after failing to report money they earned while recycling metal while at the same time receiving public assistance for several years, deputies said. They received an additional $4,369 in benefits, deputies said. They will appear in Bath Village Court at a later date.
    The total received through fraud was more than $7,000, deputies said.
    The investigation is continuing and more arrests are pending, deputies said.

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