Three New York City couples conspired to steal food stamps, government housing, Social Security and Medicare benefits over the past 15 years, despite being millionaires, according to an indictment Tuesday.
The six individuals are charged with conspiracy to conspiracy and theft of government property for lying on welfare applications for more than a decade to get $1.3 million in federal benefits.
“These defendants were millionaires stealing from the poor,” Mark Peters, commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigations, said in a statement. “The defendants fraudulently concealed their wealth to obtain benefits, including Section 8 vouchers intended to help low income New Yorkers find housing, according to the allegations.”
Two of the alleged fraudsters, named Shlomo and Rachel Kubitshuk, wrote on mortgage applications that they owned properties worth more than $2 million, and got an annual income of around $300,000, investigators said in the indictment.
The Kubitshuks, along with Naftali and Hinda Englander, and Leib and Devorah Teitelbaum, started lying on applications to get Section 8 housing, Medicare and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits in 2001, the indictment says.
“For over a decade, this ring of six defendants allegedly lied to city and federal officials about their financial status in order to obtain benefits that were meant for the needy,” Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for New York City, said in a statement. “The alleged schemes that netted them over a million dollars has been put to an end and the defendants now face federal fraud charges.”
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