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06/25/2019

State Inspector General Charges Dentist with Benefits Fraud

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June 25, 2019

Harrisburg, PA ­­­­- The Office of State Inspector General [OSIG], acting on a tip from the public, charged Perry County dentist Joseph A. Ciampa with fraudulently obtaining more than $25,000.00 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP, formerly food stamp] and Medical Assistance benefits by falsely claiming to work solely at a car dealership while hiding the income from his dental practice.

"This type of brazen fraud is offensive to every honest citizen."  said State Inspector General Bruce R. Beemer. "I am proud of the excellent work done by our investigators in exposing this fraud on the public."

According to the Criminal Complaint filed on June 4, 2019 by OSIG agents, Dr. Ciampa applied for SNAP and medical assistance benefits in Dauphin and Philadelphia counties in November of 2014. The complaint alleges that, knowing he made far more than the income eligibility limit for benefits, Ciampa lied on his application and claimed either to be unemployed or to be working solely at an auto sales shop earning minimal income. In fact, Ciampa, a licensed dentist, owned and ran a successful dental practice. He collected $616,240.71 in insurance claim reimbursements from 2015 through 2018 alone. 

Four subsequent times, from 2015 through 2018, Ciampa falsified employment and income information in applications for public benefits.

In all, during the relevant period from January of 2015 to February of 2019, Ciampa received $25,546.22 in public benefits for which he was not eligible.

Ciampa was charged with one count of Fraudulent Obtainment of SNAP Benefits, graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree, and one count of Fraudulent Obtainment of Medical Assistance, graded as a felony of the third degree. The misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment and a $10,000.00 fine. A felony of the third degree carries a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment and a $15,000.00 fine. 

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 15, 2019.

All persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Anonymously report suspected welfare fraud on the OSIG website or call the Welfare Fraud Tipline: 1-800-932-0582.

 

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