16 from Philadelphia charged with welfare fraud (PHOTOS)

Kyshima Montgomery, 23, 2934 N. Judson St., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of theft by deception, one count of criminal attempt theft by deception, one count of unlawful use of a computer, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, and one count of criminal conspiracy.
May 1, 2013 3:01:39 PM PDT
A total of 16 people from Philadelphia have been charged in a welfare fraud investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office.

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A.G. Kathleen Kane announced the results of "Operation Special Allowances" on Wednesday.

Kane said the investigation initially focused on Kyshima Montgomery, 23, of the 2900 block of Judson Street, who was a clerical worker at the Philadelphia County Assistance Office.

She was originally arrested in 2012. Investigators have now identified her 15 co-defendants and the alleged scheme they participated in.

According to investigators, the Department of Public Welfare noticed an unusual amount of "Special Allowances of One Time Issuance" from Montgomery's office.

The attorney general's office explains "OTI benefits are received by a welfare recipient in addition to food stamps and cash assistance, and are documented in the recipient's file and entered into the DPW computer system. When a person gets an OTI, the money is electronically transferred to the recipient's EBT account, which allows the recipient to withdraw the money like a debit card."v According to a grand jury indictment, the 15 co-defendants would give Montgomery their EBT cards, and Montgomery would place the OTI money into their accounts.

Then, the grand jury said, Montgomery would withdraw the money herself through an ATM and would share the money with her co-defendants.

Investigators say the co-defendants would not have been eligible for the OTI money.

In all, Montgomery allegedly stole more than $235,000 and attempted to steal an additional $104,000.

Those accused are:

--Kyshima Montgomery, 23, 2934 N. Judson St., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of theft by deception, one count of criminal attempt theft by deception, one count of unlawful use of a computer, one count of criminal use of a communication facility, and one count of criminal conspiracy.

--Tyria Williams, 24, 1820 S. 19th St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

? --Gail Floyd, 22, 3803 Brandywine St., Philadelphia, is charged with nine counts each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

? --Hakeema Brown, 27, 1221 N. 53rd St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

? --Rasheda Alexander, 25, 3939 Ludlow St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

? --April Barrett, 24, 3803 Brandywine St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

? --Myesha Williams, 21, 2530 N. Garnet St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

? --Tori Camp, 21, 3803 Brandywine St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

? --Demetrius Byrant, 26, 2513 N. 19th St., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of theft by deception.

? --Patrice Cousar, 23, 4726 N. Camac St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

? --Anthony Thomas, 48, 2215 W. Sergeant St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count each of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy.

? --Crystal Mumford, 30, 301 Queen Lane, Apt. 803, Philadelphia, is charged with three counts of criminal conspiracy and two counts of theft by deception.

? --Takara Oates, 35, 1829 Tulpehocken St., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of theft by deception.

? --Dominique Williams, 25, 1227 N. 60th St., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of theft by deception and one count of criminal conspiracy.

? --Karim Whitfield, 34, 324 Van Kirk St., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of theft by deception.

? -- Keith Northington, 47, 1421 W. Pacific St., Philadelphia, is charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of theft by deception.


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