NY Lottery Winner Facing Fraud Charges
Albion, NY (WIBX) - A Western New York man who won the "Win for Life" lottery 14-years ago, is facing serious welfare fraud charges. Chuck Nesbitt, Chief Administrative Officer for the County of Orleans, says a tip from the Social Services Fraud investigator led to the arrest of 51-year-old Anthony Palermo.
Palermo is accused of lying on his application to receive Medicaid and Home Energy Assistance Program Benefits. "Obviously he's got a stream of income and when he filled out his application for Medicaid he failed to put that stream of income on the Medicaid application. And, in the amount discussed it would--at $52,000.00 a year--it would have disqualified him," Nesbitt said.
Officials say since winning the lottery in 1998, Palermo has collected nearly $750,000.00. He's now facing three felony charges--two of which carry 7 year prison terms and one carries a 4 year sentence. "We take these things very seriously, as civil servants we really think that it's our job to protect the interest of the tax payers and if you're going go somewhere and try to committ welfare fraud, don't come to Orleans County, New York," Nesbitt said. According to Nesbitt, Palermo is disabled and also collecting unemployment benefits. He will be arraigned in court on Tuesday.