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W-B Woman Faces Welfare Fraud Charges

June 8, 2018
WILLIAMS_WEB

W-B Woman Faces Welfare Fraud Charges

WILKES-BARRE — A city woman fraudulently collected more than $8,200 in welfare benefits by hiding income she earned as a hairstylist, according to charges filed in court. Asiana C. Williams, 24, of 74 Wyoming St., was arraigned Thursday on a single felony count of fraudulently obtaining assistance after failing to disclose more than $29,000 in earnings. According to charges filed by the Office of State Inspector General, Williams applied for welfare on Feb. 1, 2016, reporting she was not employed and had no income. In August 2016, January 2017 and July 2017, Williams continued reporting she had no job and no income, the charges said. On Feb. 15, Williams submitted a form indicating she had no changes to report, according to the complaint. But the same day, a caseworker got information that Williams had filed tax returns showing she had self-employment income in 2016 and 2017. Williams provided the Luzerne County Assistance Office with copies of her tax returns, which showed she earned $12,517 as a hairdresser in 2016 and $16,494 in 2017, the charges said. Based on her failure to disclose her self-employment income, Williams fraudulently received $1,536 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits and $6,709 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, the charges allege. Magisterial District Judge Thomas F. Malloy Sr. arraigned Williams on the fraud charge Thursday morning and released her on $15,000 unsecured bail. She has a preliminary hearing set for June 28. Contact the writer: jhalpin@citizensvoice.com 570-821-2058 Williams previously made news in January 2015, when she was found driving a man she identified as an ex-boyfriend who police say was wanted in New York City for conspiracy in a gang-related homicide. Williams was initially charged with hindering the prosecution, but she subsequently pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and had the more serious charge dismissed. Contact the writer: jhalpin@citizensvoice.com 570-821-2058

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