Monsey couple with millions in mortgages charged with welfare fraud
BY STEVE LIEBERMAN • Journal News
A Monsey couple who hold mortgages on several million dollars in property was arrested today on charges of stealing $75,000 from federal rent, Medicaid and food stamp programs, Rockland authorities said.
Nathan and Mindy Misky are accused of stealing $26,000 from the Section 8 rent subsidy program in which they pretended to be tenants in a home they owned, as well as $49,000 in food stamps and Medicaid from February 2006 until April 2007, District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said.
The couple, who have 12 children and live at 73 W. Maple Ave., pleaded not guilty to one count each of third-degree grand larceny and third-degree welfare fraud, their lawyers said today.
Their bail was set at $50,000 each by Haverstraw Justice John K. Grant. They were being held in the county jail late this afternoon.
The charges carry sentences of 4 2/3 to 14 years in state prison. The couple also could face federal charges.
Nathan Misky, 52, and Mindy Misky, 49, received Section 8 rent subsidies vouchers after falsely stating they were tenants in their 4,000-square-foot house at 73 W. Maple Ave. appraised at $1.4 million during a mortgage refinancing in 2007, District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said.
The couple transferred ownership of the house to several holding companies and applied for Section 8 rent vouchers, which are reserved for low-income tenants, Zugibe said.
Zugibe said the investigation found that the couple also provided false information to government agencies for welfare benefits. They are accused of failing to report multiple bank accounts containing hundreds of thousands of dollars and upstate property in Rockland and Sullivan counties worth several million dollars, Zugibe said.
The couple was arrested as a result of an investigation by the Rockland District Attorney's Office-Sheriff's Department Special Investigations Unit and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General.
The Rockland Social Services Department Special Investigations Unit assisted.
Prosecutor Gary Lee Heavner said a judge froze the couple's assets, pending the prosecution.
Attorney John Edwards, who represents Mindy Misky, declined comment on the specific charges.
"This is a matter put before the courts by the DA and will be resolved by the courts," Edwards said. "It would be inappropriate for me or the DA to say anything more."
Nathan Misky's lawyer, David Goldstein, said the couple's financial prowess is being overstated by prosecutors. He also was critical that prosecutors didn't ask for his client to surrender, but arrested the Miskys at their home early in the morning.
"These are not wealthy people," Goldstein said. "Whatever houses they own are upside down - the mortgages are worth more than the house, like so many other people across the country."
[First Seen On Yeshiva World News; Hat Tip: Shaul.]