News & Politics

Brooklyn Couple Pockets $108K In Welfare Coin. They Also Own Three BMWs And A Lexus

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Rivka Baror, 51, and her husband Avraham Baror, 64, have been living pretty high on the hog — aside from owning not one but three BMWs, the couple also owns a Lexus, a comfortable two-bedroom home in Brooklyn, and drops a lot of cash at places like Victoria’s Secret and Home Depot. Oh, yeah — they also collect a welfare check and have bilked taxpayers out of more than $100,000 in government assistance money over the last six years.

Between January 2006, and June 30 of this year, the Voice has learned that the Barors have collected a total of $108,715.57 in Medicaid and food stamp benefits.

In 2006, the Barors filed welfare applications under their given names. They claimed they had minimal income and no assets, which qualified them for a reasonable amount of government assistance. Simultaneously, the couple used the names “Avraham Bachbuth” and “Rivka Yedidia” to obtain bank accounts and buy property, cars, and pricey vacations.

In fact, the home the couple claimed they rented at 1349 East 2nd
Street in Brooklyn for a scant $1,100 a month is owned by “Avraham
Bachbuth.”

The couple also allegedly used the aliases to open
several bank accounts, into which there were monthly cash deposits of
$4,400. Additionally, the couple kept safe deposit boxes at two
different banks, one of which contained more than $72,000 in cash. The
other had a foreign passport in Avraham Baror’s name and several pieces
of jewelry.

Additionally, according to DMV records obtained
during an investigation by the Human Resources Administration, the
Barors own three BMWs — model years 2006, 2007, and 2008 — and a 2007
Lexus.

The alleged fraud was uncovered when HRA investigator
Thomas Toth met “Rivka Yedidia” at the agency’s Manhattan office in
2010. He
learned she had been coming to the office since 2009, working on behalf
of individuals seeking HRA benefits. 

Toth discovered that “Yedidia” had been helping applicants with paperwork, interviews and eligibility issues.

Toth, however, suspected “Yedidia’s” expertise of the Medicaid
program
could be based on her own receipt of benefits. However, he found no
records of anyone named “Rivka Yedidia” receiving benefits.

A subsequent search of
the records using the home address that “Yedidia” had given him
“revealed
that an individual by the name of Rivka Baror lived there and had the
same date of birth as Rivka Yedidia. Investigator Toth confirm that
Rivka Yedidia was a food-stamp and Medicaid benefit recipient under the
name of Rivka Baror. Photos confirmed that the two individuals were in
fact the same person,” according to an indictment filed this morning.

“This case is an egregious example of individuals who abuse New York
City’s public benefit programs. It also represents a good instance in
which our Finger Imaging System photos helped us weed out Food Stamp
fraud,” HRA Commissioner Robert Doar says. “Every fraudulent dollar
spent in this case was a dollar taken away from New Yorkers truly in
need of Food Stamps and Medicaid and it will not be tolerated.”

In
all, the Barors have been charged with welfare fraud in the second
degree, grand larceny in the second degree, and offering false
instruments for filing in the first degree. If convicted, the Barors
each face up to 15 years in prison.

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