NY Woman Allegedly Steals $200,000 in Benefits: DA

By Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
November 2, 2017 Updated: November 2, 2017

An Inwood, New York, woman is accused of stealing more than $200,000 in welfare and housing benefits over the course of four years. Police arrested her Oct. 30.

Amika Land, 37, who is also known as Amika Simmons, allegedly underreported her household income to the Nassau County Department of Social Services, according to the local district attorney’s office.

Her gross income working at a medical practice in Nassau County allegedly ranged between $38,604 and $76,730, legally disqualifying her for welfare and housing benefits, the report said.

But she got $180,868 worth of benefits from Medicaid, day care, public assistance, SNAP and Home Energy Assistance Programs, officials said. She also got more than $26,628 in Section Eight housing benefits from the county’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

“This defendant allegedly falsified documents to steal more than $200,000 in government benefits that were earmarked for struggling families,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a news release. “Stealing from programs that provide a safety net for the needy victimizes our most vulnerable neighbors and the taxpaying public, and we will vigorously prosecute this case.”

Land was charged with welfare fraud in the third degree, two counts of grand larceny in the third degree, and five counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree.

According to the district attorney’s office:

The defendant was employed by a medical practice in Nassau County and worked in the billing department.

Between August 1, 2011, and July 31 2015, the defendant received Section Eight housing benefits from the Nassau County Office of Housing and Community Development (NCOHD) totaling $26,628. During that time, she is alleged to have knowingly underreported her household income by submitting the same fraudulent letters to that agency that she did to DSS [Nassau County Department of Social Services].

The defendant was released from custody and is due back in court Dec. 5. If convicted of the top count, Land faces 2 years and four months to seven years in prison.