Two Ulster County women charged with welfare fraud

A Saugerties woman and a Lake Katrine woman were charged with welfare fraud last week, according to a press release from County Executive Mike Hein’s office.

Suzanne Valles of Saugerties was arrested Jan. 19 by sheriff’s deputies and charged with the felonies of third-degree welfare fraud and multiple counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.

According to the release, an investigation conducted by the county Department of Social Services Special Investigations Unit in conjunction with the District Attorney’s Office discovered that Valles failed to report a change in the household composition and income to DSS from June through September 2016. This, the release states, resulted in Valles receiving $2,168.00 in SNAP benefits, $3,592.62 in daycare subsidies and $375 in HEAP benefits to which she was not entitled. Valles was processed and released to reappear in Ulster Town Court at a future date.

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Bonnie VanSlyke of Lake Katrine was arrested Jan. 20 by sheriff’s deputies and charged with the felonies of third-degree welfare fraud and multiple counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.

According to the release, an investigation conducted by the county Department of Social Services Special Investigations Unit in conjunction with the District Attorney’s Office discovered that VanSlyke failed to report income to DSS from December 2009 through December 2016. This, the release stated, resulted in VanSlyke receiving $10,321 in SNAP benefits to which she was not entitled. VanSlyke was processed and released to reappear in Ulster Town Court at a future date.

“It is important to remain vigilant in protecting the benefits available for those who truly need them,” stated Hein. “Under the County’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ Program, our Special Investigations Unit, the offices of Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright and Ulster County Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum continue to work together to do just that and make sure those who abuse the system are brought to justice.”

All reports of suspected fraud will be investigated. To contact Ulster County’s dedicated Welfare anti-fraud and abuse hotline, call 1-855-SIU-TIPS or 1-855-748-8477.

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