Tuesday, September 16, 2003

New Jersey man is jailed
for welfare fraud in Hawaii

A 49-year-old New Jersey man was sentenced yesterday to five years' probation with six months in jail after pleading no contest to fraudulently obtaining public assistance benefits here by applying under multiple identities.

Circuit Judge Karen Ahn also ordered Gregg Jorgenson, formerly of South Amboy, N.J., to repay the state about $84,000 in benefits he received over a six-year period and the cost to extradite him here. He already has made payments totaling $21,000.

Jorgenson was indicted Feb. 20, 2002, on one count of first-degree theft for obtaining more than $81,000 in benefits from 1996 to 2001.

Department of Human Services investigators were alerted by an anonymous tipster that Jorgenson was receiving welfare benefits under multiple names. Jorgenson was also using the names Phillip D. Pallone and William D. Zogg. Investigators caught up with Jorgenson in New Jersey, where he was working at a restaurant.

Jorgenson's attorney could not be reached for comment.


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