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Berks woman charged with food stamp fraud

State authorities have accused a Womelsdorf woman of fraudulently receiving more than $8,000 in government food benefits over a 10-month period by failing to report income of a member of her household.

Rosemary E. Barrise, 30, remained free to await a hearing on a food stamp fraud charge after arraignment April 26 before District Judge Kim L. Bagenstose in Reading Central Court.

The Pennsylvania Office of State Inspector is prosecuting the case.

According to the probable cause affidavit:

Last May, the Department of Human Services’ Berks County assistance office became aware that Barrise had failed to report that her children’s legally responsible relative resided with her and that he was employed at a steel plant in Reading.

Investigators verified through a review of DHS databases and an interview with a caseworker that Barrise was authorized to receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as food stamps) benefits after completing an application in September 2022.

Her signature on the application affirmed she knew of her reporting requirements, which includes providing the government with complete and accurate information regarding all employment income in the household.

Barrise had reported on her application that she resided with her three children in the home on Seltzer Avenue. The man who is the children’s legally responsible relative was paying for shelter expenses and utilities, she stated.

In February she submitted a renewal form in which she again stated she had no household income and that the same man was paying for shelter and utilities.

Investigators learned that the man who purchased the home in 2017 claimed it as his home address on his driver’s license renewal forms in 2019 and 2024. He also reported that address on three vehicle registrations in 2023 and 2024.

Investigators learned that the man received postal-verified mail at that address in March of this year.

The man began employment at a steel plant in 2018 and remained employed there this spring.

Investigators determined Barrise received $8,682 in benefits from September 2022 through May 2023. She would have been ineligible for these benefits had she reported that the man resided with her and included his income as household income.

Source: Berkshire mont

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