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Lottery winner charged with welfare fraud

The Orleans County Sheriff's Office estimates Anthony Palermo has collected nearly $750,000 to date. In September 2011, Palermo applied for Medicaid and HEAP benefits
Albion, N.Y.(WHAM) -- A man who won a "Win for Life" scratch-off ticket in 1998 is being charged with Welfare Fraud.

Anthony Palermo, 51, has been receiving $1,000 a week and is guaranteed a minimum prize of $1,000,000. The Orleans County Sheriff's Office estimates Palermo has collected nearly $750,000 to date.  

In September 2011, Palermo applied for Medicaid and HEAP benefits. Authorities say he had collected about $4,000 and was applying for Emergency Cash Assistance when a fraud investigator received a tip that Palermo was a lottery winner.

In addition to Welfare Fraud, Palermo is charged with Grand Larceny and Offering a False Instrument for Filing. All three charges are felonies.

In a statement, Orleans County Legislature Chairman Dave Callard said, "Orleans County has zero tolerance for this sort of behavior. You want to cheat the system? You have found yourself in the wrong place."
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