- Allison Goldsberry
A Medford couple has been caught stealing thousands in public benefits and has been ordered to pay it all back.
Stacie Coviello-Hickey, age 41, of Medford, and her husband, Ronald Hickey, 44, also of Medford, pleaded guilty in connection with EBT fraud and other related charges of state and federal benefits fraud totaling more than $161,000, according to information released by Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office.
“These defendants stole tens of thousands of dollars from programs that are intended to assist those who are truly in need, including the food stamp program” said AG Coakley. “With this sentence, they will pay back to taxpayers the amount they fraudulently collected. Schemes such as this one undermine the integrity of these programs and our office remains committed to holding accountable those that commit this type of fraud.
The couple was ordered to pay restitution in the full amount they fraudulently collected through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), MassHealth, and the Supplemental Security Income Disability (SSI) program. They were also sentenced to five years of probation.
Coviello-Hickey pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to charges of two counts of larceny over $250, three counts of false representations to procure welfare, and false representations related to the Division of Medical Assistance. Hickey pleaded guilty for two counts of aiding and abetting larceny over $250.
An investigation revealed that Coviello-Hickey and her husband fraudulently collected the benefits for several years even while Hickey was employed with a salary in excess of $80,000, and had health insurance that would cover his entire family, according to AG Coakley’s office.
The AG’s Office began the investigation after the matter was referred by the State Auditor’s Office.