What to Know
- A rich Queens woman has been pleaded guilty to stealing $67,000 in welfare benefits by hiding her husbands quarter of a mil annual income
- On top of that, prosecutors say she indicated in her Medicaid applications that she, her husband and their four kids lived in a one-bedroom
- She has paid $67,000 restitution to the city, in accordance with the plea agreement, and also faces a $1,000 fine
A wealthy Queens woman has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $67,000 in welfare benefits by concealing annual household income nearing a quarter of a million dollars earned mostly by her husband, who is under separate indictment in a real estate fraud scheme, prosecutors say.
Galit Levi, 31, pleaded guilty to fifth-degree welfare fraud Tuesday and paid $67,000 restitution to the New York City Human Resources Administration as part of the plea. She also faces a $1,000 fine.
While claiming poverty to receive welfare benefits, Levi was married to and living with a co-owner of Kings Development Group LLC, a real estate development and holdings company indicted last year on charges of defrauding and stealing homes from multiple mainly elderly and sick homeowners across New York City, prosecutors said.
Levi’s husband, Assaf Moshe (also known as Joe Levi), was one of 11 individuals and two companies indicted by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown in that alleged scheme. Levi was not criminally implicated as part of that real estate theft scheme.
An investigation by Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott found that between 2012 and 2015, Levi repeatedly filed documents that falsified and concealed her household income of between $200,000 to nearly $225,000 while applying for and recertifying her need for taxpayer-funded health care benefits meant to assist those most in need of financial help. In total, Levi stole more than $67,000 from the Medicaid system during those years, prosecutors say.
The investigation into Levi’s thefts also found that her repeated applications for Medicaid payments not only concealed her actual household income, but included information that she, her husband and four children lived in a one-bedroom basement apartment with total household expenses amounting to $650 per month, according to prosecutors. During the time period, Levi also concealed the fact that she owned a rental property in Flushing, officials say.
“This defendant’s audacious abuse of the welfare system to unlawfully enhance her lifestyle has earned her a criminal conviction.” Leahy Scott said in a statement. “I will continue to use all of the resources at my disposal and work tirelessly with my law enforcement partners to protect public funds meant for those in the most need of financial assistance.”
The name of Levi's attorney wasn't immediately clear.