A New York City woman who lied about her income to collect more than $110,000 in welfare and other government benefits was sentenced to five years probation on Monday.
Elena Marrero, a 32-year-old mother of four, said during her court hearing at Bronx Supreme Court that she raised her kids alone and barely made any income between 2014 and 2019 so she could collect more than $39,500 in welfare money, more than $54,000 in Medicaid benefits, and nearly $23,000 in food stamps, the New York Daily News reported.
But it turns out that she had been supported by the father of her children, who worked for the New York City sanitation department and the Fire Department of New York, according to a press release from the New York Office of the Inspector General.
She also worked at a Domino’s Pizza chain between 2016 and 2017, according to the Daily News.
Prosecutors say she made no mention of her work history when she applied for government assistance.
Marrero pleaded guilty in December 2019 to one first-degree count of falsifying records.
As part of her sentence, Marrero was also forced to repay the government $30,000 in restitution.
Marrero is not the first person to be caught lying about her income to receive government benefits.
In April 2019, former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who became famous for identifying as a black woman, pleaded guilty to welfare fraud charges for failing to disclose thousands of dollars in income from her book In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World so she could collect more than $8,000 in welfare benefits from the state of Washington.