MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced the sentencing today of a Levittown couple who wrongfully received Medicaid benefits totaling more than $92,000 as a result of providing false information regarding their household income to the Nassau County Department of Social Services (DSS).
Harpreet Saini, 30, of Levittown, pleaded guilty today to Welfare Fraud in the 2nd Degree (a C felony) and paid full restitution to Nassau County of $92,571.14 before being conditionally discharged by Nassau County District Court Judge Valerie Alexander. Her husband, Harjinder Singh, 37, also of Levittown, pleaded guilty to Disorderly Conduct (a violation) and is to complete 210 hours of community service.
“Public assistance programs are meant to help those who have no other options to feed, house and provide healthcare for themselves and their families – not for people trying to game the system for their own selfish ends,” DA Rice said. “Those who believe that they can take advantage of essential programs and services paid for by Nassau County taxpayers will be held accountable.”
DA Rice said Saini and Singh applied for and received Medicaid benefits from DSS for their family between about July 1, 2008 and March 31, 2013. During this time, the couple filed applications and recertification forms with DSS that underreported Singh’s income and assets as being between $520 and $600 biweekly as an employee of Mineola Card and Smoke. In fact, Saini and Singh owned the shop and earned more than they reported. As a result of their filings, DSS paid $92,527.14 in Medicaid benefits to which they were not entitled.
Saini and Singh were arrested and charged in October 2013 as part of an investigation referred to DA Rice’s office by DSS that resulted in a total of eight arrests with a total alleged fraud of $157,428.48. In addition to Saini and Singh, three other defendants have since pleaded guilty. Charges against three other defendants are still pending.
In 2013, DA Rice’s Public Assistance Fraud Unit secured 16 felony convictions, 14 misdemeanor convictions, jail time for one repeat felony offender, and $1,619,467.71 in restitution for government agencies.
Assistant District Attorney Christine Burke, chief of DA Rice’s Pubic Assistance Fraud Unit, is prosecuting the case. Saini and Singh are represented by Marc Gann, Esq.