A Queens mom with $1 million in the bank fleeced Medicaid of nearly $70,000 over three years, officials announced Thursday.
Galit Levi, 37, of Hollis Hills, was charged with grand larceny, welfare fraud, and falsifying business records, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
To get approved for Medicaid benefits, Levi claimed she was unemployed and that her husband earned approximately $1,750 a month — not enough to support the two adults and their four kids.
Officials approved Levi and her family for public assistance in January 2012 after she filed what turned out to be a bogus claim, authorities said.
She then proceeded to bilk the system of $67,000 through December 2015, submitting several renewals for Medicaid assistance, the criminal complaint said.
But in fact, a review of Levi’s bank accounts with her husband uncovered deposits from 2012 through 2016 that exceeded $1.3 million, authorities said.
“Medicaid is intended to help the truly needy, but this defendant’s bank records allegedly show her family’s income was well above the levels that would have made her and her children eligible for assistance,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Levi was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Karen Gopee Thursday morning. Judge Gopee set bail at $5,000 and ordered Levi to surrender her U.S. and Israeli passports.
If convicted of the most serious charge, she faces up to 15 years in prison.
Levi didn’t respond to attempts to reach her. A man who identified himself as her husband declined comment when reached on his cell phone.
“I can’t talk about it right now,” he said.
The family knocked down a two-story detached home owned by a relative in Hollis Hills last year. They are in middle of serious renovations, building records show.
“They bought a perfectly good house, knocked it down, and put up that monstrosity,” a neighbor said pointing to the construction. Neighbors said that Levi’s husband works in construction and has done some minor development projects.
New York State Welfare Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said the alleged Medicaid fraud was “a breathtakingly misplaced sense of entitlement by reaping a very comfortable family income while utilizing benefits meant for those in need to cover her expenses, as if she were in dire financial distress.”