7 Arrests in Waldron Terrace Housing Fraud Probe

Tips from residents led to investigation; charges include thefts reaching a total of $300,000

Seven residents of a Nyack Housing Authority complex in Central Nyack are being arraigned in court today and charges they stole more than $300,000 from the government by filing false housing applications and hiding income.

Several others are still being sought in the probe which started several months ago based on tips that came from residents of the housing authority's Waldron Terrace complex.

Officials said the investigation should eventually led to apartment units being opened up for occupancy by legitimately qualified tenants who are on the housing authority's waiting list — estimated at more than 200 families.

“This crackdown is yet another step in our continuing campaign to stop fraud and abuse of our public assistance system in Rockland County," Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said. "These arrests underscore our commitment to improve the quality of life for the residents of Nyack. Those who steal money intended to help struggling individuals and families will be marked for arrest, prosecution and prison sentences.”

Executive Assistant District Attorney Gary Lee Heavner said among those arrested today in raids on five apartments were residents who were illegally renting rooms out to others and resident who hid assets such as employment income and bank accounts to obtain public housing. He said that Clarkstown police believe that individuals targeted in the investigation may have also been linked to some violent incidents recently at or near the complex.

The seven arrested today - who range in age from 26 to 55 - are accused of stealing more than $300,000 from, and for falsifying applications submitted to, the Village of Nyack Housing Authority and the Rockland County Department of Social Services between 2002 and 2012, making it possible for each to fraudulently receive a variety of public assistance benefits, including federal and state housing subsidies, food stamps and Medicaid assistance.

“The success of today’s search warrants and arrests demonstrates the superior commitment level of the state and local law enforcement officers and special agents from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General," said Cary Rubenstein, special agent in charge at HUD's Inspector General office. "When individuals fraudulently misrepresent their income and/or family composition to secure rental assistance from HUD, we participate in operations like the one today, to ensure these individuals, who at times can bring a criminal element into HUD Subsidized Housing, are brought to justice. Every HUD subsidized household has the right to safe, decent and sanitary housing.”

Rockland County Social Services Commissioner Susan Sherwood said arrests such as today's will help encourage others to report fraud.

"This clearly illustrates the importance of our relationship with our community partners, whether they are other county agencies like the District Attorney's Office; or businesses; or residents, in identifying suspected welfare fraud," said  Sherwood. "It is crucial that we all take an active role in identifying fraud; and I encourage others to contact us if they know of or suspect fraudulent activities."

Zugibe said Clarkstown police and Rockland County Special Investigations Unit have been working with the Village of Nyack Housing Authority, the Central Nyack Civic Association and local residents to reduce crime and other quality of life issues impacting the Waldron Terrace Housing Complex.
Through information received from community members, investigators learned of individuals living in the housing complex illegally. A closer examination found multiple instances of people fraudulently receiving housing and other public assistance benefits.

In executing five court-authorized search warrants at addresses on High View Court and Pine Street in Nyack, Heavner said detectives recovered evidence of the defendants’ jobs, income, living expenses and residency. He said evidence of unauthorized persons co-habitating at the various locations was also discovered.

Charged filed today include Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony, Welfare Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class “E” Felony and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class “E” Felony.
A class “D” Felony is punishable by 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison and a class “E” Felony is punishable by up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.

The following individuals were arrested today:

Samuel Sisco, 29
128B Rt. 202, Pomona
- PL. 158.10 Welfare fraud in the fourth degree; PL. 175.35 Offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree

Catherine Downing Sisco, 54
32 Highview Ct, Nyack
- PL. 155.35 Grand larceny in the third degree; PL. 175.35 Offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree

Patricia Solomon, 41
26 Highview Ct, Nyack, NY
- PL. 155.35 Grand larceny in the third degree; PL. 175.35 Offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree

Veloura Parker, 54
7 Highview Ct, Nyack
-PL. 155.35 Grand larceny in the third degree; PL. 175.35 Offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree

Melissa Castillo, 25
38 Pine St., Nyack
-PL. 155.35 Grand larceny in the third degree; PL. 175.35 Offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. She was arraigned before Judge Howard Gerber in Clarkstown Town Court and bail was set at $1,000 pending a hearing on Monday.

Joan Christopher, 46
38 Pine St., Nyack
-PL. 155.35 Grand larceny in the third degree; PL. 175.35 Offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. She was arraigned by Gerber and bail was set at $1,000 pending a hearing on Monday.

Quenetta Gulifield, 48
11 Highview Ct, Nyack
- PL. 155.35 Grand larceny in the third degree; PL. 175.35 Offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree

Scotty June 27, 2012 at 10:19 PM
REALLY !!!! What a shock......NOT.
Josie Public June 28, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Crackers really... Wow! How about you play the system you get caught! Bunch of idiots thinking they can scam the world. So not right. I see that these people have no morales and their kids are going to learn right from them. Too bad
Scotty June 28, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Oh so NOT crackerish.....but I expect that from you.
pumpkin patch June 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM
I believe this was Central Nyack.
Patrick June 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM
It's just a drop it the bucket.
paul catorone June 28, 2012 at 12:36 PM
he is probably on that list josie hahaha
John Q Public June 28, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Why doesnt the district attorney and the rest of his cronies go after the County Executive for drowning the county in debt, or go after the Orthodox Jews that overtly abuse the very same housing and public assistance programs. The reason is he needs their votes. This is an unequal application of the law and authority. There needs to be a Federal Probe into how the D.A. decides who to prosecute and investigate. Ignorance at its finest- people just want a narrative thats simple so they can run with it. The Blacks and Hispanics are an easy target cause they are not cohesive and to do not vote consistently so lets blame the abuse of public assistance on them. Also lets turn a blind eye to new square and the surrounding area. BLAH what a joke
Scotty June 28, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Oh so clever and intelligent ****thepigs and Ben Dover. The two of you just cement the blocks together of "it's ok if it's people we know or support ". The fact remains that decent and deserving families that meet criteria for affordable housing in Rockland get pushed to the end of the line with little or no hope while others scam and profit. Let them think about that in the county jail and then lose their rights to those properties. And pay some nice fines while we're at it.
Meg Wilson June 28, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Please have the task force look into Monsey...or aren't there enough law officials for this job?
Concerned Citizen June 28, 2012 at 08:25 PM
What a joke the people and families that were arrested are low income families trying to support their kids do the math 300,000/10 yrs = 30,000/7+people = > 4,285 per year per person. I guess that makes you rich in Nyack. It cost more to bring 50 police cars, approx 100 officers, K9, Sheriff Department, Detectives, etc. from 6:00-10:00 am into our community, when our kids are going to camp, than the entire bust. Stealing who are the real theives. What a joke!!! They didn't show that on Channel 12!!!
Bruce June 28, 2012 at 10:25 PM
You beat me to the punch. They aren't even paying property tax. Not to mention they only recognize their marriages in Israel. The children of Ramapo are now suffering due to this voting block.
Charlie June 29, 2012 at 06:17 AM
This is all a joke these people been stealing from us all we are trying to do is survive and keep a roof over the familie it's not stealing it's punishments. If you want to get ahead in America have the Jewish community pay taxes cause they are the ones doing wrong but blame it on the holicost or whatever hitler saw something we don't hear about but what happen to slavery and the pain we suffered for no reason it's still the same this is a crazy world we live !!!!!!!!
Scotty June 29, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Whoa whoa Concerned Citizen...I live in Nyack and I'm trying to "support their kids " also but I don't stoop down to be a criminal. I work to support my family...not scam the system and face criminal charges. Scam vs honest work ?
Jackson June 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM
Jackson June 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Why hasn't anyone mentioned that Veloura Parker is the sister of a village Trustee? How did she get in? Did her sister know?
lena peterson August 02, 2012 at 03:51 PM
that is so true, how is it that no one has seen what the orthodox jews have been doing for longer than i have been alive, as a whole community no less, but feel proud for arresting a few minorities.. It seems very one sided to me, its no wonder why us black dont stay in rockland and end up moving to the south.
Nyack resident December 13, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I'm sure what the village trustee does is not her sisters business. Veloura Parker and the village trustee are 2 different individuals what does that have to do with this situation.
Matt January 03, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Lock them up


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