4 charged in Atlantic County welfare fraud scheme

MAYS LANDING — Four people are facing charges including official misconduct, theft and drug possession following an investigation into fraud at the county welfare office, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said Monday.

An investigation that began in December revealed two employees of the county Family & Community Development office, Barbara Landron, 46, of Atlantic City, and Christine Gonzalez, 47, of Ventnor, electronically canceled EBT cards issued to people who qualified for assistance and issued new cards to themselves, the Prosecutor’s Office said.

County Executive Dennis Levinson said last week the county had turned over evidence to the Prosecutor’s Office of employees in its welfare office giving out aid to people who did not qualify for it.

Landron and Gonzalez together stole about 30 EBT cards worth about $10,000, the Prosecutor’s Office said. The cards went to Landron’s daughter, Shayala, 18, of Atlantic City, the Prosecutor’s Office said.

Authorities also arrested Shayala Landron’s boyfriend, Deion Nance, 22, of Atlantic City, after they found a stolen handgun and marijuana in his home, the Prosecutor’s Office said.

Barbara Landron is charged with official misconduct, pattern of official misconduct, conspiracy to commit official misconduct, theft by deception, computer criminal activity and two counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, or CDS.

Gonzalez is charged with official misconduct, pattern of official misconduct, conspiracy to commit official misconduct, theft by deception, computer criminal activity, theft of property lost, mislaid or delivered by mistake, and possession of CDS.

Shalaya Landron is charged with conspiracy to commit official misconduct and theft by deception.

Nance is charged with receiving stolen property (handgun) and possession of CDS.

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Contact: 609-272-7234

dgrote@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPress_Grote

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