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