ALBION, NY-An Albion lottery winner is facing charges of trying to fraudulently access state benefits including Medicaid and HEAP.
Anthony Palermo, 51, began collecting the $1000 a week prize from the "Win for Life" game back in 1998 and according to Orleans County officials has presumably garnered nearly three quarters of a million dollars to date.
According to County Fraud Investigator Marie Snyder, Palermo had applied and begun receiving benefits in September, 2011. So far, she said he'd received over $4,000 from the two programs when the county got a tip he was also attempting to apply for emergency cash assistance from the Orleans County Social Services Department.
This is just one of the more egregious examples of the kinds of things that our employees are dealing with all the time," said Dave Callard, Chairman of the Orleans County Legislature. "Orleans County has zero tolerance for this sort of behavior. You want to cheat the system? You have found yourself in the wrong place."
Palermo is charged welfare fraud, grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies.
He was arraigned in Albion Town Court Thursday and released on his own recognizance. He's due back in court April 17.