LOCAL NEWS‎ > ‎

诈骗福利 纽约州民主党众议员 Pamela Harris 被 FBI 逮捕

NY Assemblywoman Pamela Harris Indicted On Fraud, Witness Tampering Charges

Published on Jan 9, 2018

The democrat pleaded not guilty and was released on bail Tuesday evening.



Brooklyn pol charged with using funds for lavish trips, lingerie

Published on Jan 9, 2018

Amid the post-Hurricane Sandy rubble of Breezy Point and the 24 dead bodies on Staten Island, Pamela Harris — who would later become a state assemblywoman — turned a profit on New York’s pain.

As Coney Island neighbors and the rest of the city struggled with the massive 2012 devastation, Harris lined her pockets with cash meant to aid the hurricane’s newly homeless, a federal indictment charges.

Harris spent $10,000 on vacations, including a cruise ship getaway, and shopped at Victoria’s Secret with her dirty money, authorities charged Tuesday.

And she allegedly urged witnesses to lie to the FBI in a failed cover-up of her crimes.

“Harris was busy brewing a storm of her own — one that resulted in her receiving significant payouts by the very federal agency charged with helping those truly in need,” said FBI New York field office head William Sweeney Jr.

Harris looted some $60,000 in state and federal funds in several scams, including Federal Emergency Management Agency money for “temporary housing assistance” after the hurricane, officials charged.

But her Coney Island residence was intact, with officials charging that Harris looted nearly $25,000 from FEMA by filing phony paperwork to cover the cost of a “rental” home and pocketing the cash.

She was freed on $150,000 bond Tuesday afternoon, hours after her morning arrest for allegedly looting government funds between 2012 and 2016.
“Ms. Harris has been an invaluable community organizer and a well-regarded legislator,” said a statement from her attorneys. “Especially given her background, we are disappointed that Ms. Harris was indicted.

“She has pleaded not guilty, and we look forward to her day in court and an opportunity there to present the full facts.”

Harris, 57, is a former correction officer and previously served as head of a Coney Island non-profit. She was accused of stealing $34,000 in cash provided by the City Council to pay rent for her group.

She stepped down as head of the Coney Island Generation Gap, a training and mentoring group, in November 2015 when she was elected to the Assembly in a special election. She was reelected the next year.

Harris, who appeared poised and professional in a black pants suit and heels, is due back in court on Tuesday. She left court without comment, climbing into a blue sports car with plates reading “MYBIGDAD.”

She later marched past a reporter at the Coney Island house without saying a word.

The probe was handled jointly by the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the city Department of Investigation.

“The brazen corruption charged as a result of this investigation tramples on the very definition of a public servant,” said DOI Commissioner Mark Peters.
Harris, in addition to her vacation spending, used other stolen funds to pay her lingerie tab at Victoria’s Secret and her bills at Kohl’s, along with paying off the mortgage on her Coney Island home.

After Hurricane Sandy hit in October 2012, Harris actually stayed in her undamaged Brooklyn


01/10/2018

装穷诈骗福利数万 纽约州民主党众议员被FBI逮捕


州众议员夏佩兰涉嫌欺诈被捕。(本报资料照片)


辖区包括布碌仑康尼岛、戴克高地、贝瑞吉等华裔集中社区的州众议员夏佩兰(Pamela Harris),因涉嫌多宗欺诈案,9日清晨被联邦调查局(FBI)逮捕,当日下午移至纽约东区联邦法院过堂。她被控伪造文书、欺诈、篡改证词等多项罪名,一旦罪成,将面临长达数十年的监禁。

根据法庭文件显示,57岁的夏佩兰于2014年当选议员前后,曾多次欺诈市议会、联邦急难管理局(FEMA)、纽约市灾后重建救济等部门,获取数万元利益。她在2014年8月至2015年7月担任一个非营利机构的执行总监时,以该机构名义向纽约市青年与社区发展局(DYCD)申请2万3000元款项用来租办公室,获得拨款后又伪造文件,将拨款转入其私人支票户口。

2016年当选议员后,夏佩兰再次以租用办公室名义向市议会申请到1万1400元拨款,最终同样用该笔款项用作私人用途。2012年至2014年,珊迪飓风发生后,她以康尼岛的住房被破坏,需转移至史泰登岛居住为由,向FEMA申请2万5000元救助,但实际上她却一直居住在康尼岛的住宅内,提供的租约和租金收据全部为伪造。她还向纽约市重建计画(NYC Build it Back Program)以遭遇飓风为由,为其住宅申请进行装修,但提交的文件均为伪造。

2013年,夏佩兰向破产法庭申请破产,向FEMA称自己每月需支付1500元房屋租金获得救济,同时又向破产法庭称自己每月要支付1200元房屋租金以获得相关援助。去年3月至5月,当她发现自己因涉嫌欺诈遭调查,竟然指示证人向联邦调查局探员撒谎。

2015年因前任州众议员辞职,而通过特别竞选当选的夏佩兰,因为选区内包括多个华裔社区,过去一直与华社互动频繁。此次被爆出其涉嫌欺诈,让华社十分震惊;一名社区代表表示,夏佩兰虽为非洲裔,但了解华裔文化,也一直与深受华裔喜爱的民选官员如寇顿、崔马克等人互动频繁,华社原以为又迎来一个好的民选官员,却没想到这么快就陷入丑闻,估计她今后很难再翻身。

现在夏佩兰面临伪造文件控罪,如果罪名成立,恐将面临最高30年监禁,而欺诈、篡改证词、妨碍司法公正等罪名可判最高20年监禁,伪造文件申请破产可判五年监禁。






New Jersey Welfare Fraud Crackdown

Another 12 People Charged in Massive New Jersey Welfare Fraud Crackdown

Some 13 couples now face charges they defrauded welfare agencies of more than $2.4 million

Another six Lakewood, New Jersey couples were charged Wednesday with welfare fraud, bringing to 26 the number of people implicated since last week in the multimillion-dollar scandal. 


At the heart of the charges is the allegation that they all, in one way or another, failed to report or otherwise concealed significant income that would have made them ineligible for the assistance programs in which they enrolled. In total, state and federal prosecutors have said the families collected more than $2.4 million in benefits. 


The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office identified those charged Wednesday as Eliezer, 33, and Elkie, 31, Sorotzkin; Samuel, 45, and Esther, 44, Serhofer; Yisroel, 37, and Rachel, 34, Merkin; Jerome Menchel, 33, and Mottel Friedman, 30; Tzvi, 35, and Estee, 34, Braun; and Moshe, 30, and Nechama, 27, Hirschmann.


They allegedly obtained nearly $400,000 in Medicaid, food and heating benefits fraudulently. It wasn't immediately clear if they had attorneys to comment on their behalf. 


The charges have shaken Lakewood, whose population tripled since 1980 as the Orthodox Jewish population there surged. The town is now one of New Jersey's largest as a result.


RABBI AND TEACHER ARRESTED


Among those arrested since the crackdown began are a rabbi and the former director of a religious special-needs school. 


Yitzchock and Sora Kanarek, Chaim and Liatt Ehrman, and William and Faigy Friedman were arrested late June 27.


Prosecutors say the three couples misrepresented their income and then collected more than $674,000 in benefits. Yitzchock Kanarek formerly ran Yeshiva Oros Yisroel, which catered to kids with special needs who could not be accommodated at other religious schools.


Four other couples were arrested June 26 for allegedly defrauding public assistance programs of more than $1.3 million in benefits.


Rachel and Mordechai Sorotzkin face federal charges, as do Yocheved and Shimon Nussbaum. The Sorotzkins allegedly obtained state Medicaid benefits that they did not qualify for, while the Nussbaums allegedly did the same with Medicaid, housing and food assistance benefits.


Seperately, Ocean County prosecutors filed state charges against Mordechai and Jocheved Breskin and Zalmen and Tzipporah Sorotzkin. Both couples allegedly underreported income to collect Medicaid, food, housing and Social Security benefits.


Zalmen Sorotzkin is the Rabbi of Congregation Lutzk in Lakewood.


Last weekend, vandals posted a banner containing an anti-Jewish slur on a Holocaust memorial in front of a Lakewood synagogue. A message on the covering included an ethnic slur for Jewish people and stated they "will not divide us," along with the name of a group supposedly responsible for the covering.


The action is believed to be tied to the recent arrests.


'PUNITIVE PRICE'

Prosecutors said Thursday that their investigation is ongoing and more charges may be filed. 


The specter of more charges has shaken Lakewood. Hundreds of residents have contacted authorities seeking amnesty or help avoiding arrest, the Asbury Park Press reported on June 29.


In addition to the hundreds seeking amnesty, dozens more people have contacted social service agencies to cancel their benefits or declare income, the paper reported, citing a law enforcement source who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.


"Financial assistance programs are designed to alleviate family hardships for those truly in need. My office gave clear guidance and notice to the Lakewood community in 2015 of what is considered financial abuse of these programs. Those who choose to ignore those warnings by seeking to illegally profit on the backs of taxpayers will pay the punitive price of their actions," Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said in a June 26 statement.


Rabbi Moshe Zev Weisberg released a statement last Wednesday evening on behalf of The Lakewood Vaad (a council of local elders and businessmen), saying the group was "saddened beyond words by the arrests of seven couples in our town.


"There is no such a thing as 'justified' theft," Weisberg said in the statement. "To deliberately bend a safety-net eligibility rule is stealing, no different than stealing from your friend or neighbor."


Weisberg said the council would launch a set of intensive educational programs in the days ahead, and that the public will be invited to participate in the programs.


Published at 11:36 AM EDT on Jul 6, 2017






收入100多萬 詐福利被逮

沈珠妮 2017年07月07日 

被控詐領福利的被告(中),日前走出新州翠登市聯邦法庭。(美聯社)  被控詐領福利的被告(中),日前走出新州翠登市聯邦法庭。(美聯社)

1、這是美國人的詐欺?

在新州Lakewood市,極端正統猶太人(ultra-Orthodox Jewish)群居的社區,七對夫婦被控隱藏收入,詐領超過200萬美元的聯邦福利。

2、這是聯邦打擊冒領福利的新趨勢?

可能。因為這是一個新州著名的傳統猶太教徒的社區,他們很多以宗教理由不願送小孩到外地去上大學(以免被其他文化「腐化」),因此他們之中很多屬低收入,很多家庭領取政府福利。這次被捕的七對詐領福利夫婦來自這個社區,而且其中一人是猶太社區德高望重的教長「拉比(rabbi)」,顯示政府不再讓宗教為理由而豁免他們的社會義務,因此格外引起注意。

3、他們隱藏了多少收入?

一對夫婦在2013年收入180萬美元,另一對夫婦2012及2013年收入,超過100萬多美元。

4、他們詐欺的福利項目?

那對收入超過100萬的夫婦,被控詐領超過9萬6000美元的醫療補助,其中一筆是他們在2013年他們第六個孩子出生的2萬2000多美元的醫療補助(medicaid,白卡)。那對兩年收入180萬美元的夫婦,被逮到在2014年領了醫療補助、糧食券、社會福利金(social security)及租金補助。

5、社區的反應?

憤怒。這個小城在2010年的人口是9萬3000人,比十年前已經躍增3萬2000多人,現在估計人口至少12萬人。這是新州最迅速成長的小城,造成這個小城有100多家私立教會學校。由於正統猶太教徒已經在小城成為多數,他們贏得多數的學區委員席位,對當地教育經費的支用,產生巨大的影響。美聯社報導,當地的老居民希望查明他們的房產稅是如何用來支付新來居民的福利的,老居民並抱怨房產經紀人找房子安置這些新遷入的居民,態度過於兇悍,讓當地老居民感到不安。