Darby DPW workers charged in $300K welfare scam

Darby Borough seems be making a name for itself as Pennsylvania's go-to destination for committing six-figure welfare fraud.

Less than three months after the feds busted the owner of Aunty Florence's West African Food Market for allegedly converting food stamps into cash – and keeping a nice cut for herself with the EBT terminal in her store, state Attorney General Linda Kelly today announced charges against two former Department of Public Welfare workers for allegedly stealing nearly $300,000 in public assistance benefits.

The charges against Cynthia Lewis, 47, of Lansdowne, and Ivan Jones, 43, of Philadelphia, were recommended by a grand jury.

The grand jury alleges that Lewis approved more than $250,000 in benefits – food stamps, medical benefits and "special cash allowances" – for six public assistance accounts that she fabricated and maintained. She allegedly spent the money on cruises and gambling jaunts.

Jones was busted for a separate scam, Kelly said. He's accused of using names and personal information of existing welfare recipients to send EBT cards to locations in Delaware County. Surveillance videos show him using the cards to withdraw money from those accounts, Kelly said.

Both were Income Maintenance Caseworkers at DPW's Delaware County Assistance Office in Darby.

“Public assistance benefits are intended to aid Pennsylvania residents struggling to feed and support their families,” Kelly said. “These individuals not only corrupted that system and stole taxpayer funds for their own personal gain, but literally took money and food from the mouths of families in need.”

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