Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

  

May 1, 2013

16 people charged with welfare fraud

 
Kyshima Montgomery


Patrice Cousar

 
Tyria Williams
 
Anthony Thomas
 
Gail Floyd
 
Crystal Mumford
 
Hakeema Brown
 
Takara Oates
 
Rasheda Alexander

 
Dominique Williams

 
April Barrett


Karim Whitfield


Myesha Williams

Keith Northington

Tori Camp


Demetrius Byrant

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced today that charges have been filed against 16 people in connection with alleged welfare fraud. The fraud originated at the Philadelphia County Assistance Office and totaled more than $330,000, according to investigators.

The investigation, known as "Operation Special Allowances," focused on Kyshima Montgomery, 23, 2934 N. Judson St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Montgomery was a clerical worker at the Philadelphia County Assistance Office.

Evidence and testimony were presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed today.

The investigation was initiated after the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) noticed an unusual amount of "Special Allowances of One Time Issuance" (OTI) from the Philadelphia County Assistance Office in the West District.  OTI benefits are received by a welfare recipient in addition to food stamps and cash assistance, and are documented in the recipient's file and entered into the DPW computer system.

When a person gets an OTI, the money is electronically transferred to the recipient's EBT account, which allows the recipient to withdraw the money like a debit card.

According to the grand jury, Montgomery conspired with the other 15 co-defendants. They gave her their EBT debit cards, Montgomery placed OTI money into the accounts, and then withdrew most of the money for herself through an ATM machine.

Montgomery shared some of the stolen money with her co-conspirators, according to the grand jury. The Grand Jury found that Montgomery's co-conspirators would not have otherwise been eligible for the OTI money Montgomery placed on their EBT debit card. Montgomery allegedly stole more than $235,000-- and attempted to steal an additional $104,000--using this scheme.

Montgomery was charged on December 6, 2012 with multiple counts of theft by deception, criminal conspiracy and other related charges for her role as the alleged mastermind of the scheme. She waived her preliminary hearing. Her trial is scheduled for Dec. 16, 2013.

 Kane thanked the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, the Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General, and the Philadelphia Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

 The case will be prosecuted in Philadelphia County by Senior Deputy Attorney General Andrew M. Rongaus of the Attorney General's Criminal Prosecution Section.

 Below is a complete list of the defendants and the charges against them.

--Kyshima Montgomery, 23, 2934 N. Judson St., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of theft by deception, one count of criminal attempt theft by deception, one count of unlawful use of a computer, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, and one count of criminal conspiracy.

--Tyria Williams, 24, 1820 S. 19th St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

--Gail Floyd, 22, 3803 Brandywine St., Philadelphia, is charged with nine counts each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

--Hakeema Brown, 27, 1221 N. 53rd St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

--Rasheda Alexander, 25, 3939 Ludlow St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

--April Barrett, 24, 3803 Brandywine St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

--Myesha Williams, 21, 2530 N. Garnet St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

--Tori Camp, 21, 3803 Brandywine St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

--Demetrius Byrant, 26, 2513 N. 19th St., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of theft by deception.

--Patrice Cousar, 23, 4726 N. Camac St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

--Anthony Thomas, 48, 2215 W. Sergeant St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

--Crystal Mumford, 30, 301 Queen Lane, Apt. 803, Philadelphia, is charged with three counts of criminal conspiracy and two counts of theft by deception.

--Takara Oates, 35, 1829 Tulpehocken St., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of theft by deception.

--Dominique Williams, 25, 1227 N. 60th St., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of theft by deception and one count of criminal conspiracy.

--Karim Whitfield, 34, 324 Van Kirk St., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of theft by deception.

-- Keith Northington, 47, 1421 W. Pacific St., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of theft by deception.


(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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