Grand jury indicts four midcoast women on welfare fraud charges

Posted April 10, 2013, at 3:17 p.m.
Last modified April 10, 2013, at 5:56 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Four midcoast women were indicted Wednesday, accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the state in welfare benefits.

Margaret Robinson, 32, of Rockland was indicted for two counts of felony theft, two counts of aggravated forgery, 10 counts of unsworn falsification and one count of attempted theft by deception.

According to the indictment, Robinson received more than $10,000 in housing assistance from the Maine State Housing Authority from September 2008 through December 2011. She falsely claimed in paperwork filed with MSHA that her husband was not living in the household and that he was not contributing income, according to the charges.

Robinson also received more than $10,000 in food stamp benefits during that period by giving the false statements about her husband and household income, according to the indictment.

The indictment further claims that she forged paperwork — false discharge paperwork from Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, and a letter from a local restaurant that she had been hired for a job to help her retain benefits.

Also indicted by the grand jury was Brittany Seavey, 41, of South Thomaston on charges of felony theft and unsworn falsification. The indictment claims that from November 2008 through March 2011 Seavey received more than $10,000 in food stamps by falsely claiming that the father of her child was not in the household and not contributing income.

Megan Owen, 32, of Topsham was indicted for felony theft by deception. The indictment alleges that from January 2008 through April 2011 she received between $1,000 and $10,000 for a program that provides additional support for people in retraining and employment. The state alleges she claimed to be taking classes at the University of Southern Maine, but was not.

Tanya Bormet, 40, of Northport was indicted on charges of felony theft by deception and unsworn falsification. The indictment alleges she received between $1,000 and $10,000 in food stamps from September through January by falsely claiming two stepdaughters were members of household and that her husband did not work.

John Martins, the director of public and employee communications for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, said that since Gov. Paul LePage has taken office, he has made increased enforcement a priority in order to curb welfare fraud. He said different state agencies such as DHHS and the attorney general’s office have worked to coordinate efforts for that goal.

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