Rensselaer County officials say 29 people have been arrested for welfare fraud. Local law enforcement agencies have arrest warrants for at least 10 others.
Nearly $100,000 in welfare benefits were stolen in total from the Rensselaer County Department of Social Services. Rensselaer District Attorney Joel Abelove says police were able to track down some of the individuals by discovering that EBT cards of people in jail were being used in the community. They also say they received tips that some of those who were receiving benefits were actually working.
“Taxpayer dollars have to be protected. There are a lot of individuals that genuinely need benefits and public assistance and we gladly give them to those people,” Abelove said. “For welfare cheats who are gaming the system, people who don’t deserve money they are taking that money out of the mouths of people who need to feed themselves or their kids, put a roof over their heads and pay their bills, and that’s just not right.”
Those who were arrested have been released on their own recognizance, however the Rensselaer District Attorney says,
The welfare fraud investigation is still ongoing.