A Philadelphia man who pleaded guilty to using multiple names and addresses to steal almost $360,000 in welfare benefits has been sentenced to serve less than three years in jail, authorities said Wednesday.
Gregory William Miller, 64, fraudulently obtained and used public assistance benefits over nearly an eight-year span, according to a news release from the Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General.
Among Miller's alleged aliases were Bruce Barnes, Norman Benson, Douglas Davis, Milton Faulkner, Bernard Hart, William Johnson, Louis McBride, Kenneth Mills, Vincent Jay Nelson, and Reginal Quick.
Using those and his fake addresses, Miller allegedly got more than $70,000 in cash assistance, $55,000 in food stamps, and $233,000 in medical assistance benefits between June 2001 and April 2009.
The Office of Inspector General said its investigation began in September 2007 after receiving a referral from the Philadelphia Police Dept., and it culminated with the D.A.'s office filing felony welfare fraud charges against Miller last year following his arrest and extradition from Georgia.
Miller was also charged with multiple counts of identity theft, forgery, and tampering with public records.
Miller's sentence from Judge Rayford A. Means is a minimum of 15 months and a maximum of 30 months at State Correctional Institution Graterford, followed by five years of probation. He also must pay $50 a month toward restitution, costs, fees and fines.
He has been disqualified from receiving cash assistance benefits for a period of six months and SNAP benefits for 12 months, the OIG's office said.
"I am proud of the diligent work performed by the Office of Inspector General, in cooperation with the Philadelphia Police Department, and the Philadelphia District Attorney to bring this individual to justice," Inspector General Michael A. Sprow is quoted as saying in the release. "Welfare fraud is not a victimless crime, and will not be treated as such."
Those who are found guilty of welfare fraud can face a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and fines up to $15,000, mandatory restitution, and program disqualification.
To report suspected fraud, call the Welfare Fraud Tipline at 1-800-932-0582. Callers may remain anonymous.
Rain arrives for the second half of the work week. Another fall-like blast of cool weather to follow for the weekend.
Expect unsettled weather for the next two days. Humid today and tomorrow, with seasonable temperatures. The best chance for rain will be this afternoon & tonight, where we'll see on and off showers and thunderstorms.
Clouds and showers linger though much of Friday. We may still see a passing shower Saturday morning. Unseasonably cool air returns this weekend.