MAYVILLE – A Celoron couple was arrested on food stamp fraud charges Monday morning as a result of an investigation by the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and the special investigations unit of the Chautauqua County Department of Social Services.
Serena Abers, 39, and Thomas J. Meredith, 46, both of East Lake Street, Celoron, were charged with falsely claiming they were caring for a food stamp-eligible dependent. The investigation proved they did not have a dependent living with them.
Abers, who allegedly received illegally $7,000.41 in food stamp and Medicaid benefits, was charged with felony counts of misuse of food stamps, grand larceny in the third-degree and four felony counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first-degree.
Meredith was charged with two misdemeanor counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the second-degree. They were served appearance tickets and ordered to appear in Jamestown City Court in two weeks.
The sheriff’s office said instances of suspected welfare fraud can be reported to the welfare fraud hotline at 1-800-388-5365 or the WE Tip line at 1-800-782-7463.