Sixteen Arrested for Alleged Public Assistance Fraud

Sixteen people were arrested today throughout Los Angeles County during a sweep into alleged fraud involving public assistance benefits.

Another person, La Shon Strong, 44, of Pasadena, surrendered Wednesday in connection with an alleged $16,000 fraud, and three other people were expected to surrender, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Another three people were still being sought.

The sweep involved investigators from the District Attorney's Office and state and federal agencies.

"Again we see the truly needy deprived of benefits by the truly greedy," District Attorney Steve Cooley said. "The perilous financial situation facing so many of our citizens who are losing jobs and homes illustrates the need for assistance. These cheats steal from the very programs that might help someone survive through tough economic times."

The bulk of the alleged fraud involved In Home Supportive Services, but also included welfare, Social Security and Section 8 housing payments and benefits.

Those arrested today were:


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-- Susie Claborn, 73, of Pacoima, who is accused of using two identifications, including one of a person who was incarcerated, to bill IHSS for more than $116,000;

-- Saleshni and Shailendra Prasad, both 42 of Downey. The married couple is accused of operating a limousine business while receiving more than $68,000 in MediCal and welfare benefits;

-- Vicke Miles, 55, and Wali Ansaar, 39. The Palmdale couple are accused of bilking IHSS of more than $81,000, Social Security of $36,000 and Section 8 housing of $98,000. Ansaar allegedly used a dead person's identification to collect Section 8 funds for renting his home to his own wife;

-- Lucy Trevino, 64, of Monrovia, who is accused of bilking IHSS out of $20,000;

-- Nesreen Megrisi, 28, and Ferial Broyles, 50, of Lancaster, who are accused of bilking IHSS and Social Security of at least $110,000 by using multiple identities;

-- Tiffany Darby, 33, and Anthony Hensley, 42, of Palmdale, who are accused of bilking taxpayers out of more than $190,000. Authorities said 3 1/2 pounds of marijuana and scales, along with cash, were recovered when a warrant was served at their home;

-- Shanta Brown, 34, and her mother Carolyn Jeter, 50, of Lancaster, who are accused of stealing $298,000 through welfare fraud;

-- Nicole Goods, 31, and Arnice Green, 51, of Lancaster, who are charged with public assistance fraud of $278,000;

-- Tamara Castle, 35, of Lancaster, who is accused of falsely stating she was employed by a limousine company to qualify for child care subsidies that cost taxpayers $75,000; and

-- La Baba Day, 34, of Lancaster, who is charged along with three other Lancaster residents in an alleged fraud that authorities say resulted in the loss of more than $150,000.

Those arrested could be arraigned as early as Friday at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse.

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