NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


November 28, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

TWO FORMER WELFARE WORKERS PLEAD GUILTY TO THEFT OF WELFARE BENEFITS

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that Katrina Richardson McCoy, 30, of 4524 Parkton Avenue, Baltimore, and Karen Dailey, 38, of 412 N. Athol Avenue, Baltimore, pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and conspiracy to commit theft, before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Peter Ward. McCoy and Dailey, former Baltimore Department of Social Services employees, were charged with stealing over $3,000 in welfare benefits from the accounts of welfare recipients. The time period of their conspiracy ran from June 1999 to April 2001.

McCoy, an 11-year State employee, worked in the Electronic Benefits Transaction System Unit for the Department of Social Services at Mondawmin Mall during the time in question. One of her job functions required her to train new welfare recipients in the use of the EBT cards to withdraw their benefits from area Automated Teller Machines. Dailey worked as a receptionist at the Mondawmin Mall DSS facility before being transferred to the Clifton DSS office, where she worked as an Edit Reviewer.

McCoy and Dailey unlawfully accessed the benefit accounts of five welfare recipients, changed the Personal Identification Number on their EBT cards, and withdrew cash and food stamp benefits belonging to those recipients.

"Both of these employees turned their positions of employment into an opportunity for theft," Attorney General Curran said. "The saddest aspect of their crimes is that they stole from people who could ill-afford to lose benefits they desperately needed."

The matter was investigated by the Office of Inspector General of the State Department of Human Resources, which referred the cases to the Attorney Generalís Criminal Investigations Division for prosecution.

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