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Policy: Entitlements

Philadelphia man defrauds welfare for eight years, racks up $350k

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Watchdog,Entitlements,Kelly Cohen,Inspectors General,Waste and Fraud,Follow the Money,Food Stamps,Pennsylvania,Welfare,Philadelphia

Despite defrauding welfare for more than eight years, a Philadelphia man will still be eligible to receive benefits again after just six months -- though he may still be in prison by then.

Gregory William Miller, 64, used 10 names — one of them a woman's — and numerous addresses to collect more than $359,000 in public assistance from 2001 to 2009, authorities said.

“Welfare fraud is not a victimless crime, and will not be treated as such," Pennsylvania state Inspector General Michael A. Sprow said in statement.

Using the names of Bruce Barnes, Norman Benson, Douglas Davis, Milton Faulkner, Bernard Hart, William Johnson, Louis McBride, Kenneth Mills, Vincent Jay Nelson and Reginal Quick, Miller was able to fraudulently receive $71,000 in cash assistance, $55,000 in food stamps and $233,000 in medical assistance benefits over eight years.

Miller, who had been under investigation in Pennsylvania since 2007, was arrested last year in Georgia, the IG's office said. Court records indicate he was living in Warner Robins, Ga., outside Macon.

Miller was sentenced last month to 15-30 months in prison, followed by five years' probation, court records show. The judge in the case stipulated that Miller can eventually be transferred to a Georgia prison.

He was also ordered to pay $50 per month toward $150,000 in restitution, as well as costs, fees and fines.

However, in keeping with both federal and state law, Miller will be eligible to apply for cash assistance benefits again after just six months and food stamps after a year.

First-time offenders are suspended from cash assistance benefits and food stamps for six to 12 months; second-time offenders see that time doubled, and then "three strikes, you're out," said James Timko, the special assistant to Sprow.

View the press release from Sprow here.

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Kelly Cohen

Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner