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Article 158 - NY Penal Law

WELFARE FRAUD
158.00 Definitions; presumption; limitation.
158.05 Welfare fraud in the fifth degree. A MISD
158.10 Welfare fraud in the fourth degree. E FELONY
158.15 Welfare fraud in the third degree. D FELONY
158.20 Welfare fraud in the second degree. C FELONY
158.25 Welfare fraud in the first degree. B FELONY
158.30 Criminal use of a public benefit card in the second degree. A MISD
158.35 Criminal use of a public benefit card in the first degree. E FELONY
158.40 Criminal possession of public benefit cards in the third degree. E FELONY
158.45 Criminal possession of public benefit cards in the second degree. D FELONY
158.50 Criminal possession of public benefit cards in the first degree. C FELONY

S 158.00 Definitions; presumption; limitation.
  1. Definitions. The following definitions are applicable to this
article:
  (a) "Public benefit card" means any medical assistance card, food
stamp assistance card, public assistance card, or any other
identification, authorization card or electronic access device issued by
the state or a social services district, as defined in subdivision seven
of section two of the social services law, which entitles a person to
obtain public assistance benefits under a local, state, or federal
program administered by the state, its political subdivisions, or social
services districts.
  (b) "Fraudulent welfare act" means knowingly and with intent to
defraud, engaging in an act or acts pursuant to which a person:
  (1) offers, presents or causes to be presented to the state, any of
its political subdivisions or social services districts, or any employee
or agent thereof, an oral or written application or request for public
assistance benefits or for a public benefit card with knowledge that the
application or request contains a false statement or false information,
and such statement or information is material, or
  (2) holds himself or herself out to be another person, whether real or
fictitious, for the purpose of obtaining public assistance benefits, or
  (3) makes a false statement or provides false information for the
purpose of (i) establishing or maintaining eligibility for public
assistance benefits or (ii) increasing or preventing reduction of public
assistance benefits, and such statement or information is material.
  (c) "Public assistance benefits" means money, property or services
provided directly or indirectly through programs of the federal
government, the state government or the government of any political
subdivision within the state and administered by the department of
social services or social services districts.
  2. Rebuttable presumption. (a) A person who possesses five or more
public benefit cards in a name or names other than his or her own is
presumed to possess the same with intent to defraud, deceive or injure
another.
  (b) The presumption established by this subdivision shall not apply
to:
  (1) any employee or agent of the department of social services to the
extent that he or she possesses such cards in the course of his or her
official duties; or
  (2) any person to the extent that he she possesses a public benefit
card or cards issued to a member or members of his or her immediate
family or household with the consent of the cardholder; or
  (3) any person providing home health services or personal care
services pursuant to title eleven of article five of the social services
law, or any agent or employee of a congregate care or residential
treatment facility or foster care provider, to the extent that in the
course of his or her duties, he or she possesses public assistance cards
issued to persons under his or her care.
  (c) The presumption established by this subdivision is rebuttable by
evidence tending to show that the defendant did not possess such public
benefit card or cards with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another.
In any action tried before a jury, the jury shall be so instructed.
  (d) The foregoing presumption shall apply to prosecutions for criminal
possession of public benefit cards.
  3. Limitation. Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to
prohibit a recipient of public assistance benefits from pledging his or
her public assistance benefits or using his or her public benefit card
as collateral for a loan.

S 158.05 Welfare fraud in the fifth degree.
  A person is guilty of welfare fraud in the fifth degree when he or she
commits a fraudulent welfare act and thereby takes or obtains public
assistance benefits.
  Welfare fraud in the fifth degree is a class A misdemeanor.

S 158.10 Welfare fraud in the fourth degree.
  A person is guilty of welfare fraud in the fourth degree when he or
she commits a fraudulent welfare act and thereby takes or obtains public
assistance benefits, and when the value of the public assistance
benefits exceeds one thousand dollars.
  Welfare fraud in the fourth degree is a class E felony.

S 158.15 Welfare fraud in the third degree.
  A person is guilty of welfare fraud in the third degree when he or she
commits a fraudulent welfare act and thereby takes or obtains public
assistance benefits, and when the value of the public assistance
benefits exceeds three thousand dollars.
  Welfare fraud in the third degree is a class D felony.

S 158.20 Welfare fraud in the second degree.
  A person is guilty of welfare fraud in the second degree when he or
she commits a fraudulent welfare act and thereby takes or obtains public
assistance benefits, and when the value of the public assistance
benefits exceeds fifty thousand dollars.
  Welfare fraud in the second degree is a class C felony.

S 158.25 Welfare fraud in the first degree.
  A person is guilty of welfare fraud in the first degree when he or she
commits a fraudulent welfare act and thereby takes or obtains public
assistance benefits, and when the value of the public assistance
benefits exceeds one million dollars.
  Welfare fraud in the first degree is a class B felony.

S 158.30 Criminal use of a public benefit card in the second degree.
  A person is guilty of criminal use of a public benefit card in the
second degree when he or she knowingly:
  1. Loans money or otherwise provides property or services on credit,
and accepts a public benefit card as collateral or security for the
repayment of such loan or for the provision of such property or
services;
  2. Obtains a public benefit card in exchange for a benefit; or
  3. Transfers or delivers a public benefit card to another (a) in
exchange for money or a controlled substance as defined in subdivision
five of section 220.00, or (b) for the purpose of committing an unlawful
act.
  Criminal use of a public benefit card in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.

S 158.35 Criminal use of a public benefit card in the first degree.
  A person is guilty of criminal use of a public benefit card in the
first degree when he or she, pursuant to an act or a series of acts,
knowingly (i) obtains three or more public benefit cards from another or
others in exchange for a benefit, or (ii) transfers or delivers three or
more public benefit cards to another or others in exchange for money or
a controlled substance as defined in subdivision five of section 220.00
of this chapter.
  Criminal use of a public benefit card in the first degree is a class E felony.

S 158.40 Criminal possession of public benefit cards in the third degree.
  A person is guilty of criminal possession of public benefit cards in
the third degree when he or she with intent to defraud, deceive or
injure another, knowingly possesses five or more public benefit cards in
a name or names other than the person`s own name.
  Criminal possession of public benefit cards in the third degree is a class E felony.

S 158.45 Criminal possession of public benefit cards in the second degree.
  A person is guilty of criminal possession of public benefit cards in
the second degree when he or she with intent to defraud, deceive or
injure another, knowingly possesses ten or more public benefit cards in
a name or names other than the person`s own name.
  Criminal possession of public benefit cards in the second degree is a class D felony.

S 158.50 Criminal possession of public benefit cards in the first degree.
  A person is guilty of criminal possession of public benefit cards in
the first degree when he or she with intent to defraud, deceive or
injure another, knowingly possesses twenty-five or more public benefit
cards in a name or names other than the person`s own name.
  Criminal possession of public benefit cards in the first degree is a class C felony.

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