Lakewood welfare fraud raids: Six more people scammed another $700,000, authorities say
LAKEWOOD — Six more people were arrested in Lakewood late Tuesday as part of an ongoing government fraud investigation.
The individuals arrested Tuesday by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office are accused of defrauding government Medicaid and government assistance programs, including those for Superstorm Sandy benefits. In all, they're accused of fraud amounting to nearly $700,000.
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said the investigation by his office found the six failed to report income they received from “numerous sources” that would make them ineligible for aid. Instead, they misrepresented their incomes and submitted amounts that made them qualify for the respective program’s benefits, he said.
The arrests included:
• Yitzchock Kanarek, 33, and Sora Kanarek, 39 of Brisk Lane: Charged with second-degree theft by deception for allegedly wrongfully collecting approximately $339,002.56 in Medicaid, SNAP, HUD, and SSI benefits between January 2009 and July 2014.
• Chaim Ehrman, 40, and Liatt Ehrman, 39, of Twin Oaks Drive: Charged with second- degree theft by deception for allegedly wrongfully collecting approximately $185,692.22 in Medicaid, SNAP, HEAP, and Sandy benefits between January 2011 and December 2015
• William Friedman, 45, and Faigy Friedman, 40, of Leigh Drive: Charged with second-degree theft by deception for allegedly wrongfully collecting approximately $149,842.28 in Medicaid, SNAP, HEAP, and HUD benefits between January 2011 and December 2015.
The defendants will appear in Ocean County Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
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The investigation, which initially included the prosecutor’s office, FBI and the the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller's Medicaid Fraud Division, has expanded to include to include the US Social Security Administration, New Jersey Department of the Treasury's Office of Criminal Investigation, and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office's Economic Crimes Unit.
Coronato expects further arrests and may add other charges could be added.
The arrests came two days after eight people, including Rabbi Zalmen Sorotzkin and his wife, Tzipporah, were arrested early Monday morning on federal and state charges.
Collectively, they’re accused of receiving several hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of food, housing, and medical benefits despite income levels that would disqualify them from the various programs. Some of those arrested had $1 million-plus incomes, authorities have said.
— With previous reporting by Adam Hochron
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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