County Charges Pair In $71K Welfare Fraud Case

Two county residents face charges after allegedly receiving nearly $75,000 in public assistance benefits they were allegedly not entitled to receive.

Emily M. Farnham, 39, of Rood Road, Sinclairville, and Paul E. Farnham, 39, of Norton Place, Fredonia, were charged after Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies and the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services investigated nearly five years of claims. The investigators allege Paul Farnham and Emily Farnham submitted applications for various types of assistance with information they knew was incorrect. Emily Farnham allegedly received $41,928.44 in Family Assistance benefits, $31,464 in SNAP/Food Stamp benefits and $25 in HEAP benefits — a total of $73,417.44 in benefits that she should not have been eligible to receive.

Emily Farnham was charged with second-degree grand larceny, second-degree welfare fraud, misuse of food stamps and 15 counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. Paul Farnham faces 13 counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and fifth-degree welfare fraud.

Both Emily Farnham and Paul Farnham will be in Jamestown City Court later.