Last Defendants Sentenced in Medicaid Fraud Sweep

Massapequa man and wife sentenced Tuesday after eight-person sweep across county.

A Massapequa man was ordered to complete community service and pay restitution after pleading guilty to welfare fraud, announced the Nassau County District Attorney.

Mathew Sutphen, 52, of Massapequa, was released Tuesday on a conditional discharge and sentenced to serve 210 hours of community service on top of paying $167,240.79 in restitution. Sutphen pleaded guilty to second-degree welfare fraud in January 2012.

In January, Sutphen’s wife, Angela, 54, pleaded guilty to fifth-degree welfare fraud and was ordered to complete 210 hours of community service.

The Sutphens reportedly claimed to have low incomes to get Medicaid and Public Assistance benefits. They also failed to admit they owned timeshares, co-ops in Florida, a second home in Suffolk County, and that they owned Cornerstone Bancor Mortgage Company.

The couple are the last of eight people sentenced in a fraud sweep across Nassau County in September 2011.

The other defendants included Joan Anzalone, 45, of Glen Cove; Rehman Aziz, 53, and Nighat Aziz, 47, both of Sea Cliff; Rizwan Basit, 35, and Shamama Shamin, 30, both of Valley Stream; Dennis Melandro, 39, of Hicksville; Laurie Morales, 44, of Freeport; and Tahira Mundiya, 47, of Farmingdale.

As a result of the sweep, $527,439.78 was paid in restitution between the eight defendants.

“Those who think they can take advantage of public assistance programs by collecting benefits they have no right to receive threaten the viability of a social safety net that is paid for by the hard-working men and women of our county,” said DA Kathleen Rice.

Robert Demarco March 12, 2014 at 07:44 AM
Ms. Rice should not be satisfied with a penalty that is not a real penalty. Paying back what you stole is not a penalty, and community service is a joke. She is too busy prosecuting johns to deal with real crimes like welfare fraud.
lucky libra March 12, 2014 at 12:33 PM
By only doing community service, you just made crime pay, community service itself is a joke,
K March 12, 2014 at 05:50 PM
Thank you for publishing their names. I personally like to know where the snakes are living
lucky libra March 12, 2014 at 07:27 PM
as you said, these snakes could be living in any hole, keep your eyes on the ground
the baby March 13, 2014 at 07:54 AM
As I understand it from conversations with numerous representatives of many state agencies, eligibility for Medicaid is based on income, not on assets. While I don't know the details in these cases in the article, even if they were making false claims, would it not be up to the "authorities" to screen applicants and verify eligibility based on info provided and SS#? Just sayin'.


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