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Naples woman claims ex-tenant stole $70,000 in food stamp and Medicaid benefits

Posted at 10:19 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 22:44:59-04

A Naples woman claims her ex-tenant has stolen more than $70,000 in food stamp and Medicaid benefits. 

"There's people that are collecting all these benefits that don't deserve them, that are walking around like they're all that and a bag chips, and bragging about how they're getting away with this and getting away with that, said Sharise Yuhasz. 

She told Four In Your Corner her former tenant was collecting hundreds of dollars in food stamp and Medicaid benefits each month, but didn't need them. 

"Those people are desolate and she is not. She has a family that has millions of dollars," said Yuhasz. 

According to Yuhasz, the woman was collecting snap benefits for at least four years.

"They've paid out a minimum of $72,000 from what I've calculated, minimum, in four years for her and her son, and she got the full benefits of it," said Yuhasz. 

She contacted the Department of Children & Families (DCF) after realizing her tenant filed for food stamp benefits, and claimed she was living with her son.

"This room right here is the room she was renting out," said Yuhasz, as she showed Four In Your Corner her ex-tenant's bedroom. However, Yuhasz claims the woman's child was hardly ever at the home because she didn't have custody of the child. 

"Her son would be here, at the most, two Saturdays per month," said Yuhasz. 

She reported the fraud in early March, and was informed she was eligible for a reward if the information led to a criminal prosecution.

But now she's concerned justice may not be served.

"If I wouldn't have called to find out where my reward was on the reward program, I don't believe they would have ever gone after her," said Yuhasz. 

She claims she has made numerous calls to DCF, but says she was not given an update on the investigation.

"Why have a rewards program if you're not going to pay anyone any rewards. That's false advertisement from the state and federal government," said Yuhasz. 

She says also doesn't understand how DCF didn't realize her tenant didn't have legal custody of her child.

"It's all public record. She has to provide the child's social security, and her social security number. 

According to DCF, it could take up to five years to prosecute someone for fraud. Yuhasz is hoping it's sooner rather than later.

"if I can figure it out sitting on my couch and not working for this agency, it's common sense. If I can figure it out on my own, why can't they," said Yuhasz. 

DCF is aware of the allegations and has launched an investigation into the claims.