Five people were arrested for welfare fraud or misusing food stamps in Hudson Valley.

"It is critical that welfare benefits are made available to those individuals who truly need assistance," Ulster County Executive Mike Hein said in a press release. "SIU, the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office are helping make sure that people who steal from the system are brought to justice, protecting Ulster County taxpayers as well as the limited pool of resources available to help those in need.”

Investigations conducted by the Ulster County Department of Social Services Special Investigations Unit, in conjunction with the Office of the Ulster County District Attorney have resulted in the following arrests:

On March 19, Nicole Redding of Ellenville was charged with the welfare fraud and two counts of offering a false instrument for filing. Redding is accused of illegally receiving $2,098 in SNAP benefits by not reporting income from August 2017 through January 2018.

On March 22, Diandra Schleede of Kingston was arrested for welfare fraud and 16 counts of offering a false instrument for filing. Schleede allegedly failed to report income from September 2016 to September 2017 and falsified Daycare authorization documents for payment. As a result, she received $2,181.10 in Daycare benefits and $3,535 in SNAP benefits, police say.

On March 13, Falisha Lewis and Christopher Haight of Kingston were arrested for misuse of food stamps. It's alleged that Lewis, an inmate at the Ulster County Jail, gave Haight her SNAP benefits card for him to use to access SNAP benefits while she was incarcerated.

On March 23, Carl Phillips, an inmate at the Ulster County Jail, was charged with misuse of food stamps. It is alleged that Phillips provided his Electronic Benefit Transfer card to a friend to use to access SNAP benefits which were in Phillips name while Phillips was an inmate at the Ulster County Jail.

Social Service Law prohibits the transfer, improper use or possession of a benefit card or accessing SNAP benefits by someone not authorized to access them, officials say.

All reports of suspected fraud will be investigated. To contact Ulster County’s dedicated Welfare anti-fraud and abuse hotline, please call 1-855-SIU-TIPS or 1-855-748-8477.

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