Three welfare fraud cases have been resolved in recent months in Mohave County Superior Court. Thousands of dollars flowed to unqualified recipients in each of the criminal matters resulting in convictions for three defendants. Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES) investigator Paul Alvarado worked each of the cases that resulted in jail time, probation and restitution orders for the defendants. A synopsis of each of the cases is provided below:
ALISON ANN LAVALLEY: A pre-sentence report indicated that Lavalley, 42, admitted that she never lived at the Bullhead City address she used when she applied for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) in Arizona. “It was determined by the DES Office of the Inspector General that Lavalley had been ineligible to receive DES benefits and that applications signed by her under penalty of perjury were fraudulent,” the report said. Rather than Bullhead City as claimed on her DES application, Lavalley had instead been residing in Laughlin, where she had been receiving Nevada medical and food stamp benefits from April, 2009 through January, 2012. “The defendant was receiving benefits from both Nevada and Arizona while living in Nevada,” the report said. Lavalley was convicted of fraudulent schemes and practices through a plea agreement. She was placed on probation, ordered to serve 45 days in jail and agreed to pay $24,654 in restitution.
JOSEPH RUEDAS: Like Lavalley, Ruedas, 28, also lived in Laughlin, but claimed Bullhead City residency in his fraudulent application for benefits in Arizona. The pre-sentence investigation in his case revealed that he collected Arizona SNAP benefits for 13 months while living in Laughlin. “He also admitted he had been receiving Unemployment Insurance from the State of Nevada since April, 2012 to the present,” the report said. “He also received subsidized housing” money. “I first off would like to apologize for the crime I have committed,” said Ruedas in his pre-sentence statement. “I was at a desperate time in my life. I was near being homeless and, at the time, I needed to feed myself and my children.” Ruedas also pled guilty to fraudulent schemes and practices. He was placed on probation, ordered to serve 45 days in jail and agreed to pay more than $9,100 in restitution.
PATRICK MARIGLIANO: The pre-sentence investigation report in the case involving Marigliano, 61, said a felony drug conviction in 1997 rendered him ineligible for food stamp support from any state. It also questioned his claim of homelessness when he applied for family assistance in Bullhead City. Marigliano used the identities of his brother-in-law and two dead people to qualify for benefits paid to him over an 18 year period. “As a result of these misrepresentations, the defendant was determined to have received approximately $26,146 of Nevada State Food stamp benefits between January, 2003 and February, 2013 and approximately $4,754 of Arizona DES Food Stamp benefits between June 13, 1994 and October 31, 2012,” the report said. The Probation Department summary concluded that Marigliano is a “career criminal” who racked up his first felony conviction 39 years ago. In his written statement, Marigliano said his past cocaine addiction is the root of his illegal activity, and he took exception to how his criminal history was referenced. “It makes me look worse than I really am,” Marigliano said in a handwritten statement. “I suppose back then I was still learning you can’t just be a little illegal with others and not get the full blame.” Marigliano is convicted of theft through a plea agreement. He was placed on probation, ordered to serve 200 days in jail and agreed to pay restitution to the state of Arizona.