Four New Jersey couples, including four people who earned millions were arrested Monday for welfare fraud, as the authorities crack down. Among them were Rabbi Zalmen Sorotzkin and his wife Tzipporah. They were picked up by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, who also nabbed Mordechai Breskin and his wife Jocheved. The FBI was also involved, arresting Rachel Sorotzkin, Mordechai Sorotzkin, Yocheved Nussbaum, and Shimon Nussbaum on charges of conspiring to steal federal funds. According to NJ 101.5, “Authorities said the families, some of whom owned businesses and lived in large homes, collected Medicaid and subsidized housing benefits and food stamps.”
The Breskins are charged with collecting more than $500,000 in Medicaid, SNAP, HUD and SSI benefits between January 2009 and December 2014. The Sorotzkins are charged with collecting for than $300,000 in that period. Though not specified how much they earned during that time, those charged allegedly reported lower income amounts in order to qualify for the aid. This way, they were able to collect more for themselves and their families.
Others reportedly made millions while collecting government aid, according to U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick:
The feds say Rachel and Mordechai Sorotzkin received Medicaid benefits for themselves and their children despite getting “significant windfalls,” including a $1 million payment to Rachel Sorotzkin’s business in April 2013. Fitzpatrick said that payment was not reported to Medicaid, nor was the fact that the couple earned more than $1 million in both 2012 and 2013 while they continued to claim medicaid benefits. In total Fitzpatrick said the couple collected close to $96,000 in “taxpayer-funded medical care,” including $22,000 for medical expenses when their sixth child was born in November 2013…
Fitzpatrick said the Nussbaums also received illegal benefits from 2011 through 2014 by creating several shell companies, which they said were run by relatives but were actually under their control. Fitzpatrick said the family made as much as $1.8 million in 2013 but still applied for Medicaid, Section 8 housing, and SNAP food benefits.
In order to hide their income, Fitzpatrick said the couple opened several bank accounts using the names of the companies and would then use the money from the accounts for their daily expenses. In total, Fitzpatrick said the Nussbaums received close to $178,000 in government funds.
The conspiracy charges are punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offence. More arrests are reportedly on the way, too…