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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
David Paulson, 410-576-6357
dpaulson@oag.state.md.us

AG Gansler Secures Guilty Plea in Assistance Fraud Case
Social Services employee ordered to make complete restitution

BALTIMORE, MD ( Jan. 10, 2012) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that former Baltimore City Department of Social Services employee Ireese Y. Toles, 39, of Baltimore entered pleas of guilty to one count of public assistance fraud and one count of theft in Baltimore County Circuit Court. The Honorable John Grason Turnbull, II sentenced Toles to an 18 month suspended sentence and ordered her to complete 18 months of supervised probation and make restitution in the amount of $1,229 to the State.

"Fraud of this type, no matter the size, undermines public confidence in programs designed to help families in need," said Attorney General Gansler. "In a case like this, we seek to make the taxpayers whole and send the message that fraud will not be tolerated."

In late August of 2010, while working as a case manager at the Department of Social Services, Toles fabricated the signatures of one of her clients and took possession of two Independence Cards. The cards are used as the means for distributing benefits to qualified welfare recipients.

Video surveillance footage secured from a Wal-Mart store in Arbutus showed Toles using the Independence Cards to access her client's food stamp benefits. When questioned, Toles confessed to signing for the cards and using the food stamps to purchase items for herself and her family.

This case was investigated by the Attorney General's Criminal Division and the Maryland State Police (MSP) with assistance from the Maryland Department of Human Resource's Office of the Inspector General and Wal-Mart store security personnel. In making his announcement today Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Megan Davey Limarzi and MSP Sgt. John Casey for their work on the case.

   

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