AP NEWS

Four County Residents Among 180 Charged With Welfare Fraud

May 14, 2019

WILKES-BARRE — Four Luzerne County residents are among nearly 180 people charged in the first quarter with committing welfare fraud, the Pennsylvania Office of State Inspector General announced Monday. Ileana Contreras, 32, of Wilkes-Barre; Katy E. Berroa De Jesus, 44, of Hazle Twp.; Bradley Stackhouse, 45, of Wilkes-Barre; and Andre Sell, 55, of Hazle Twp., are each facing a felony count of welfare fraud. Prosecutors said Contreras fraudulently received $5,467 in Cash Assistance and $5,295 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Berroa De Jesus fraudulently received $3,409 in SNAP benefits, while Stackhouse fraudulently received $1,328 in SNAP and $1,973 in Medical Assistance benefits, according to prosecutors. Sell fraudulently received $394 in SNAP and $3,752 in Medical Assistance benefits, prosecutors said. Contreras is free on $15,000 unsecured bail while awaiting trial, while Berroa De Jesus and Sell have been released on their own recognizance. Court records show prosecutors have a warrant for Stackhouse’s arrest. The four were among 178 defendants the State Inspector General’s Office charged with welfare fraud from January through March. The defendants are responsible for committing a combined $886,056 in welfare fraud, authorities said. — JAMES HALPIN