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Wealthy Queens woman pleads guilty to welfare fraud: DA

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A wealthy Queens woman pleaded guilty last week to charges of stealing more than $167,000 in welfare benefits by concealing her annual household income that was close to $225,000, the Queens district attorney and the state inspector general said.

“In pleading guilty, the defendant has admitted to stealing funds from the Medicaid system - a program intended to help those who are truly in need,” said DA Richard Brown. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to stop those who would cheat the system for their own benefit.”

Galit Levi, 31, of 82nd Avenue in Hollis Hills pleaded guilty to welfare fraud in the fifth degree, the DA said. Concurrent with her plea, Levi paid $167,000 in restitution to the city’s Human Resources Administration and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, according to Brown.

While claiming poverty to receive welfare benefits, Levi was married to and living with Assaf Moshe, also known as Joe Levi, co-owner of Kings Development Group LLC, a real estate and holdings company. He was indicted last year on charges of defrauding and stealing homes from multiple homeowners across New York City, targeting the sick and elderly who were in financial distress, the DA said. Levi was not criminally implicated as part of that real estate theft scheme, Brown said.

An investigation by Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott found that between 2012 and 2015, Levi repeatedly filed documents that falsified and concealed her household income of between $200,000 to nearly $225,000 while applying for and recertifying her need for taxpayer-funded health-care benefits destined for those in serious need of financial help.

In total, Levi stole more than $67,000 from the Medicaid system during those years, according to Scott.

She included information that she and her family — including her husband and four children — lived in a one-bedroom basement apartment with total household expenses amounting to $650 per month, Brown said. During the time period involved, Levi also concealed the fact that she owned a rental income property in Flushing.

“This defendant’s audacious abuse of the welfare system to unlawfully enhance her lifestyle has earned her a criminal conviction,” said Scott. “I will continue to use all of the resources at my disposal and work tirelessly with my law enforcement partners to protect public funds meant for those in the most need of financial assistance.”

Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmohamed@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4526.

Updated 12:32 am, July 10, 2018
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Reader feedback

Tom from Queens says:
If she was anything but white she would have been charged with grand larceny and received jail time.
July 9, 6:51 am
Joyce from Flushing says:
I agree. It's just disgusting. Now she's laughing and teaching all how to defraud. Disgusting.
July 9, 10:12 am
Dwayne from Queens says:
Sounds like something the left and their grasping accomplices would do.
July 9, 10:45 am
Nottrue from Queens says:
Tom from Queens says:

If she was anything but white she would have been charged with grand larceny and received jail time.

Not true....its because shes a Jewish white woman. Had it had been a non Jewish white person, they definitely would have gotten charged worst. I knew she would only get a slap on the wrist ever since I first heard this story and heard her last name.
July 9, 10:47 am
Hahahah from Bayside says:
I think its great, her only penalty is a $1,000 fine. She is only paying back what she stole. Based on this lack of penalty we should all apply for welfare. If we get caught, give it back and pay the thousand bucks. This city needs to go bankrupt, they are already taxing me to death to give it to the lazy and broke.
July 9, 1:28 pm
CARLOS from Norwood Bronx says:
Amazing that Levi's only penalty is $1000.00 had it been a lucy Garcia or Virginia Washington jail time would have followed.
July 10, 9:27 am
James from Forest Hills says:
This is NOT uncommon.
Many of the Russian Jews in my neighborhood have WIC cards and Medicaid cards and live in the many beautiful houses and mansions in Forest Hills
July 10, 7:06 pm
Nilda Rivera from Woodside says:
She should pay back every penny on every thing she sold. No breaks. Why judge said she only pays 1,000 fine, should have been more. It's too little for a wealthy woman.
July 10, 8:44 pm
David from Auburndale says:
Sorry but a lot of these religious Jews just outright sicken me, with all their literally constant rituals (the men even have a little prayer for urination -- no kidding) but scamming everyone, including fellow Jews if that's what it has to be sometimes..."showy religious" folks just disgust me but Jews especially since they're always going on about persecution for their holiness while scamming all the time!!
July 11, 5:33 am

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