An Israeli-American mother of four from Queens, New York was indicted for allegedly cheating the government out of $67,000 in welfare payments that she obtained under false pretenses.
Hollis Hills resident Galit Levi, 37, was charged Thursday with grand larceny, welfare fraud, and falsifying business records, the Queens District Attorney’s office told the New York Daily News.
She was accused of issuing a bogus claim of unemployment and saying her husband earned only some $1,750 a month, in order to get approved for Medicaid benefits.
Levi and her family were approved for public assistance in January 2012.
A Queens mom with $1 million in the bank is accused of stealing nearly $70,000 from Medicaid over a three-year span https://t.co/wSnrXu1eaK
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) January 26, 2018
According to the criminal complaint, Levi then proceeded to fleece the system of $67,000 through December 2015.
Authorities said a review of the couple’s bank account from 2012 to 2016 uncovered deposits topping $1.3 million.
“Medicaid is intended to help the truly needy, but this defendant’s bank records allegedly show her family’s income was well above the levels that would have made her and her children eligible for assistance,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Levi was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Karen Gopee Thursday morning. Bail was set at $5,000 and Levi was ordered by the court to relinquish her US and Israeli passports.
She faces up to 15 years in prison if charged on the most serious allegations.
New York State Welfare Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said the alleged fraud was “a breathtakingly misplaced sense of entitlement by reaping a very comfortable family income while utilizing benefits meant for those in need to cover her expenses, as if she were in dire financial distress,” according to the New York Daily News.