L.I. Woman Arrested in Welfare Fraud Charges After Buying a House

A woman who worked part-time for a luxury car dealer in Roslyn has been accused of receiving benefits from New York’s Department of Social Services and living in a subsidized housing complex in Oceanside, Long Island since 2018. She was arrested on Thursday, March 18, 2024, and has been charged with welfare fraud, grand larceny, and three counts of filing false documents by investigators from the Nassau County District Attorney’s office.

Melissa Beltre was brought to Nassau Criminal Court for facing felony charges. She is accused of taking $22,476 from taxpayers as “annual subsidy benefits” from January 1, 2019 to October 31, 2021. During this time, she lived in a low-income apartment at 2820 Weeks Drive in Oceanside.

Detective Gavin Shea provided a thorough description of the suspected fraud. In court documents, it is stated that Beltre submitted a fake welfare application on October 23, 2018, to the Office of Housing and Community Development located at 40 Main Street in Hempstead, Long Island, NY. Investigators say she completed and sent in another fake benefits application a year later, on October 26, 2019, and repeated the action on October 10, 2020.

The investigation into Beltre’s claims for benefits was conducted by a person who used to be in charge of the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Beltre stated that her weekly income was $1,200 in 2018, $1,400 in 2019, and $700 in 2020. However, Beltre is accused of not reporting her income from her job at North Shore Motor Director and failing to disclose that she had $43,230.16 in her 401(k) account at Baron Automotive Management.

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After that, she purchased a house. According to documents filed in court, investigators found out that Beltre completed the purchase of a property located at 515 Olive Boulevard in South Hempstead on April 12, 2021. Beltre reported the purchase 6 months later, in October.

Beltre had bank accounts at Jovia and Ocean Financial. The accounts showed that money was taken out and put in. Specifically, $33,000 was taken out from North Shore Motor Direct in Syosset, $36,600 was taken out from North Shore Motor Direct and Sunrise Auto Outlet in Roslyn Heights, and $15,300 was taken out from Sunrise Auto Outlet in 2021.

When Beltre requested to stop receiving benefits in October 2021, she is accused of lying about the timing of her house purchase. According to investigators, the house was bought on April 12, 2021. This purchase happened 6 months before, which made Beltre ineligible for the rent subsidy right away.

She applied for a mortgage of $565,475 for a 30-year term. She bought the house for $585,000, which means she made a down payment of $20,000. She mentioned that her monthly income is $9,200. She said she was not guilty and Judge Marie McCormack let her go without bail. Beltre will be returning to court next week.

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