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Police: 23 Arrested on Social Service Benefits Fraud
By Joe Gullo
MALONE, N.Y. - Police arrested 23 people who they say were fraudulently collecting benefits through the Franklin County Department of Social Services over the past 18 months.
The arrests are part of a larger ongoing investigation involving almost 60 people.
“Many of these benefits are supposed to be temporary, not a way of life," Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne said. "The goal of 'living off the system' needs to end, and these recent arrests are unfortunately only the tip of the iceberg of the fraud which we believe is being perpetrated against the system. Our system was created to help those in need, not to be a game to be manipulated.”
Police say their investigation also revealed fraudulent tax returns where tax services assisted individuals in filing returns related to self employment with no documentation of the individuals having an ongoing business. The filer would collect a refund after paying no taxes on the fictitious business. Police say six individuals are suspected of filing fraudulent tax returns.
The following individuals were arrested on Thursday. Ten are currently in custody and 13 warrants are still outstanding.