Charges Filed Against Woman Who Received Nearly $200k in Benefits While Operating Million-Dollar Business

| January 8, 2019

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The State Inspector General’s office filed felony charges against a woman who is accused of fraudulently obtaining nearly $200,000.00 in benefits while running a million-dollar business.

Acting on information received from the Cranberry Township Police, OSIG (Office of the State Inspector General) agents investigated allegations of fraud against Pittsburgh area resident Kimberly Coleman.

Investigators learned that Coleman applied for and accepted nearly $200,000.00 in state child care and SNAP [formerly food stamp] assistance during the period from June of 2014 to November of 2018.  During that same period, Kimberly Coleman owned and operated a residential care business which received more than $1,000,000.00 from the Department of Human Services for services provided. During that same period, Coleman and her husband entered an eleven-month residential lease paying $8,900.00 a month with a $30,000.00 down payment.

“This kind of benefits fraud is especially repugnant,” said State Inspector General Bruce R. Beemer. “This Defendant stole tens of thousands of dollars from the taxpayers of Pennsylvania, not out of need or hardship, but out of simple greed. Our Office is grateful to the Cranberry Township Police and will work with local law enforcement to end this kind of fraud wherever it arises.”

According to a police criminal complaint filed by OSIG agents, Coleman not only failed to report her employment, assets, and income, but she affirmatively provided false information in order to continue fraudulently receiving benefits. Specifically, Coleman falsified paystubs and submitted them to mislead state caseworkers.

Investigators learned that she submitted paystubs on behalf of her husband from an area pizza restaurant where he was never employed. For her own account, Coleman submitted false paystubs from an entirely fictitious corporation at an address belonging to another property she owned but failed to disclose. In addition, Coleman affirmatively falsified her residential address so that she could continue to receive benefits through Allegheny County although she resided in Butler County.

In all, Coleman stole $195,223.06 of state benefits from June of 2014 to January 2018.

In November of 2018, OSIG agents charged Kimberly Coleman with three counts of welfare fraud each graded as a felony of the third degree.  The maximum penalty for each offense is a term of seven years’ imprisonment and a $15,000.00 fine.  On December 20, 2018, the charges were bound over to the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas. The Defendant is awaiting trial.

All persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

To report suspected fraud please call the Welfare Fraud Tipline at 1-800-932-0582 or visit the OSIG website at Tipsters may remain anonymous.

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Category: Local News, News, State News